Clinton Seeks ‘Victory Fund’ Pacts With State Parties

NYT FDMaggie Haberman 8/25/2015

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Good Tuesday morning. Politics can be tough on friendships, as Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is seeking to put a home-state senator in a tough spot, while President Obama might find himself in a similarly awkward position if his vice president decides to challenge his former secretary of state in a bid to replace him. And to the surprise of some in her party, Hillary Rodham Clinton is proposing joint fund-raising agreements that typically occur after the nomination has been won.

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign is moving to sign “victory fund” agreements with a string of state Democratic parties, and already has takers in four states, including New Hampshire.

The maneuver is open to any of the Democratic candidates, but only Mrs. Clinton’s campaign is trying it.

Officials with some of the state parties, asked to consider joint agreements while the nomination battle is still playing out, privately expressed confusion when they first received packets proposing legal language to create the deals.

The chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party defended the arrangement with the Clinton campaign, suggesting he had invited all the candidates to enter such deals. But the others are deeply focused on winning the nomination in a fight against a well-funded front-runner.

The “victory funds” risk adding to the perception that Mrs. Clinton, who is batting away persistent questions about her use of a private email server at the State Department, is ensconced in a shaky sense of her inevitability as the nominee.

The timing also aligns with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s deliberations over a campaign of his own.