Bill Clinton's Birthday Is Latest DNC Pitch

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:29pm EDT

( - Former President Bill Clinton turns 57 years old on August 19, and the Democratic National Committee is hoping the birthday will result in campaign cash for the 2004 elections.

The DNC Thursday sent an e-mail urging Democrats to contribute money and send a "personal message" to the impeached president and "let President Clinton know he remains in your hearts and minds."

"Give President Clinton the best gift of all for his 57th birthday: a brighter and better America," reads the message, signed by DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe.

The e-mail solicitation invites recipients to send Clinton "a message that you are committed to electing a new Democratic president in 2004" and lists a variety of complaints about President Bush.

While the DNC steers clear of direct involvement in the Democratic presidential primary, the birthday pitch notes: "Nine (sic) Democratic candidates for president are making great cases to America that it's time for new leadership. The DNC is committed to making sure that whoever wins the Democratic nomination has the necessary resources to win in 2004 and restore peace and prosperity to America."

A tough row to hoe

Whether the tactic will work remains to be seen, but if the 2000 presidential election cycle is any indicator, the DNC has its work cut out for it.

The Republican National Committee out-raised the DNC by almost $120 million in the last presidential cycle, $379,006,604 to $260,560,928, according to Federal Election Commission records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign finance matters.

Another challenge facing the DNC this year is the fact that its traditional donor base is juggling contributions between the national committee and 10 Democratic presidential candidates.

Those 10 candidates for the Democratic nomination have so far raised more than $66 million, according to the data provided by the CRP.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry leads his rivals for the nomination with more than $16 million in contributions so far, less than half of the $35.1 million collected by Bush in his re-election effort.

Included in the CRP data on Democrats seeking the presidential nomination is activist and perennial candidate Lyndon Larouche, Jr., who has raised more than $4.75 million for his campaign, which is apparently not recognized by the DNC.

Larouche has sought the Democratic nomination in every presidential election year since 1976, and a search of Larouche's name on the DNC Internet website returns no documents.

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