It was the Wednesday after Labor Day when Robby Mook and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager and chairman, sat down at the headquarters of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington for some blunt talk.
One by one, Sens. Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Jon Tester went around the table and delivered variations of the same message: “We need more money,” said the Senate Democratic leaders, according to three people briefed on the meeting. The ask was for a minimum of $5 million — and preferably more in their quest to take back the Senate.
“What they had proposed up to that point was insufficient,” said a top Senate Democratic adviser, saying Clinton’s team had promised little in cash and instead argued “their field operation should be considered an in-kind donation.” The same day, Mook and Podesta sat for a similar meeting at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan where they also asked for $5 million.
Money soon came — though half as much as requested. The Democratic National Committee transferred $2.5 million to the DSCC, and another $2.5 million to the DCCC.