Burn, Baby, Burn: Hillary Clinton Campaign on a Spending Spree

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While Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has far outraised her competition, taking in more for her campaign than any of the contenders from either party, she is also outspending them. In fact, campaign finance reports show that Clinton spent more than the rest of the Democratic field — all of the candidates combined — raised.

According to a report by Politico, the Clinton campaign raised $47.5 million, spent $18.7 million, with a total debt of $574,000, and cash on hand of $28.85 million. This is a burn rate of nearly 40 percent, a figure that is generally considered to be high at this point in the campaign cycle.

In comparison, Clinton raised $36 million but only spent 14 percent of it during the first three months of her 2008 campaign, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Clinton’s high burn rate stands in sharp contrast to her attempt to portray her campaign as frugal and humble, attempts which the mainstream media lapped up, running dozens of stories about Clinton traveling around early primary states in her “Scooby Van.”

The Scooby Van won’t cut it to get Clinton back and forth to her Hollywood and Manhattan fundraisers, though, and the campaign spent nearly $180,000 on private flights through Executive Flightways, a charter jet company. Her claims of taking the “Bolt Bus” from New York to Washington seem mostly for show, as the campaign finance filings show the campaign spent $8,710.13 on Amtrak and only $346.50 on the bus. There was also $31,518.86 spent with United Airlines, $42,397.98 with Delta Airlines, $ 24,381.30 with US Airways, $22,640.80 with American Airlines, $6,994.54 with JetBlue, $8,699.01 with SouthWest.

Intriguingly, despite her diss of ride sharing company Uber during her recent economic speech, Clinton spent $219.32 with them last quarter.

Clinton has also built a huge campaign team, paying the salaries for a whopping 343 — that’s three hundred and forty-three! — campaign employees. One of the highest paid is Huma Abedin, the long time Clinton aide and ex-wife to former Congressman and Twitter exhibitionist Anthony Weiner, who was paid $69,263.09 for the quarter.

The Republican campaigns have not released all their finance reports yet, but the campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) stands in sharp contrast to Clinton’s big spending ways. According to National Review, Rubio’s burn rate is around 19 percent, “which is low, and suggests he’s running a streamlined campaign that’s not bleeding money on consultants and staffers.”

Right to Rise, the Super PAC supporting former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL), had an even leaner operation, spending $5 million out of $103 million raised. To be fair, PACs often can avoid many of the operational expenses that campaigns require for their candidate to travel, voter outreach, and so on, but this is still a remarkably low number.

Perhaps this is the kind of math that led Clinton to feel like she was “dead broke” after leaving the White House?

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.