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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Clinton planning Irish fundraiser
Bill and Hillary Clinton
Bill and Hillary Clinton may fundraise in Ireland
He first came to help bring peace to Northern Ireland, but the next time Bill Clinton visits Ireland will be to help raise the estimated 249m his wife needs for her presidential campaign.

Hillary, is aiming to become the first woman US president.

The Republican and Democrat parties are expected to choose their presidential candidates in early 2008.

The Clinton campaign aims to hold a fundraiser targeting Democrat supporters living in Ireland.

Irish-born publisher Niall O'Dowd, who is on the finance committee of the Clinton campaign team, believes Hillary has a lot of support among ex-pats in Ireland.

"I know there is a plan by the Clinton campaign to hold a fundraiser in Ireland for American citizens and green card holders," he said.

Obama

"There is a view that raising money abroad is actually an option now because there is such intense pressure to raise money within the US for all the political parties.

"A fundraiser in Ireland could actually work very well for Hillary Clinton because there is a tremendous amount of support among expat Americans here for her."

The Clinton campaign team is currently raising money at the rate of 6m a month.

It is not clear if fellow Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama, who has ancestral links to Monegall, County Tipperary, aims to fundraise in Ireland.

"It has become a game of money raising, not really politics and that is the sad thing about what is happening in American politics," Mr O'Dowd told RTE Radio.

"Constant, constant fundraising is taking over the message of what is happening in healthcare, in Iraq.

"The obsession within the campaigns is 'get the money in the bank'."

The former US president made several high-profile interventions in the Northern Ireland peace talks.

Last year he attended the Ryder Cup tournament in County Kildare and also spoke at a "leadership seminar" in Dublin's Burlington Hotel costing 675 a head.


SEE ALSO
Democrats reach out to gay voters
10 Aug 07 |  Americas
Rector traces Obama's Irish roots
03 May 07 |  Northern Ireland
Clinton 'still backing' Agreement
24 May 05 |  Northern Ireland
Bush offers NI process support
27 Nov 04 |  Northern Ireland
Clinton 'confident' of progress
26 Aug 04 |  Northern Ireland

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