I wish we could have this event tonight in the Lincoln bedroom," President Clinton told 2,500 gold-plated Democrats who pledged $4 million to their party at a gala dinner last week, "but we did not have enough coffee in the White House." The crowd laughed and clapped at his defiant joke, but Clinton and Democratic heavyweights aren't exchanging many smiles these days.

The Democratic National Committee faces a financial crisis that puts it "in the worst shape it's ever been," says a major fund raiser. "I'm not sure it can recover." Fund raising is always hardest right after a national election;...

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