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US Senator Hillary Clinton speaks during a media conference on Capitol Hill on May 24, 2006 - 


SCOTT JAGOW: Hillary Clinton kicks off her next campaign today in Buffalo. Officially, she's running for the US Senate this November. But come on, you and I both know she's also prepping for that other race in 2008. More now from Scott Tong.

SCOTT TONG: Clinton has banked $20 million bucks, though she may not need it all for this fall's Senate race. Potential Republican opponents John Spencer and Kathleen McFarland have each raised less than half a million. Still, Baruch College political scientist Douglas Muzzio expects Clinton to spend a lot.

DOUGLAS MUZZIO: She wants to stomp either McFarlane or Spencer. She wants to be slingshot out of this election.

And onto the national stage. Her war chest may also scare off members of her own party, who may be considering '08.

MUZZIO: She's saying to potential Democratic challengers, I'm sittin' on $20 (million). I can triple or quadruple this. Don't mess with me.

Team Clinton has also developed a high-tech donor database. The idea is to mine the data and customize fundraising pitches. Muzzio says that was a key to President Bush's reelection in 2004.

In Washington, I'm Scott Tong for Marketplace.

Follow Scott Tong at @tongscott