‘Frugal’ Clinton Campaign Pays Hillary’s Rent

Personal office in Manhattan (approx. $25,000 a month) deemed a 'campaign expense'


It's hard out there for an ambitious wealth-seeker who, because she values power slightly more than money, has decided to temporarily forgo a lucrative public speaking career in order to run for president (again). Still, there's no reason why Hillary Clinton, whose campaign says it wants to raise $2.5 billion, shouldn't be able to direct some of those rich donor dollars her way?

Here's what happened, according to POLITICO. In 2014, Hillary signed a two-year lease for a 4,000-square-foot personal office space in Manhattan, but she needed a trendier location to set up her official campaign headquarters, so she chose Brooklyn and an luxury office space owned by a Democratic mega-donor. Apparently, Hillary can't even be bothered to be driven out to Brooklyn when she's in New York, so she has spent very little time in the Brooklyn office, and holds senior staff meetings at her personal office in Manhattan. A number of campaign staffers and unpaid interns work there regularly.

POLITICO reports that the rent for Hillary's personal office is likely around $25,000 per month. It's not that Hillary can't afford it, but she'd obviously rather not have to pay for it. And because federal election law states that, if campaign staff make regular use of her personal office space, the campaign must pick up the tab, she isn't.

But Clinton didn’t forsake the glitzier island of Manhattan — she herself still works exclusively in midtown when she is in the city, and holds senior staff meetings there, sources told POLITICO.

Clinton signed a two-year lease on the Manhattan suite of about seven offices on the 27th floor of Tower 45, a recently renovated office building on West 45th Street near Times Square, last August. The building has an outdoor plaza and lobby featuring "magnificent large-scale hanging lit sculptures," according to the developer, SL Green. At the time she signed the lease, a spokesman said Clinton was setting up a personal office.

That space is now occupied by Clinton’s campaign; 10 to 15 campaign staffers and interns work there regularly, and meetings take place there. Senior staffers also use the office out of convenience, if they need a place to work in Manhattan between appointments around town. Because of that, the campaign is now footing the bill for the rent, a campaign official confirmed. (According to Federal Election Commission rules, the midtown office space had to be deemed a campaign expense, or an in-kind contribution from the candidate to her campaign.)

Shelling out $25,000 a month to cover Hillary's rent seems like a pretty hefty expense for a campaign that prides itself on being so frugal that even campaign chairman John Podesta has to take the bus. On the other hand, maybe Hillary deserves a break. After all, she's applying for a job that pays just $400,000 a year, which is roughly double her hourly rate on the speaking circuit. It's only fair.