By Celeste Katz
Daily News Staff Writer
Eighteen million votes: $212 million. Some 1,926 delegates: $109,823 a pop. Blowing the biggest head start in presidential history: priceless.
From anointed to also-ran, Hillary Clinton spent more money to lose a primary election than any candidate in Democratic Party history.
"The Clinton campaign found itself without adequate money at the beginning of 2008," chief strategist Mark Penn wrote in a published Op-Ed yesterday - but it was enough of a cash stash to fund the causes she championed.
The money raised could have been better spent.
Instead of throwing it at a failed political bid, Clinton could have achieved a lot of her goals.
The former First Lady, an outspoken proponent of family values, might have delivered a much-needed vacation to working families: sending more than 76,000 families of four from New York to California to visit Mickey, Donald and Goofy.
And don't forget the economy.
Instead of throwing cash away, she might have better invested the $11 million she gave her campaign by buying everyone in New York City a Mega Millions ticket.
And she could have bought 9,838 people a new hybrid Toyota Prius, or given out 70.7 million energy-efficient light bulbs.
Remember that gas tax holiday plan? Nearly 53 million gallons of free gas could have been bought with that sum.
And think of Clinton's deep interest in health care: $212 million could've covered 705 artificial heart surgeries. Or, presuming an average price of $20, she could have bought flu vaccines for 10.6 million people - not quite universal, but a darn good start.
If the former First Lady really wanted to push women to the forefront, she could have equipped all 2,300 students at her alma mater, Wellesley College, with a Porsche 911 Carrera. (Should they find themselves late for class, it boasts a top track speed of 174 mph.)
And to show her allegiance to her adopted state of New York, Clinton could have given every one of the 1.24 million students, teachers and staffers in the New York City school system one of the priciest Yankees mementos on MLB.com: the "Mounted Memories New York Yankees Cut-Stone Baseball With Polished Zinc Display."
To thank New York for its support, Clinton could have used the $212 million to treat every Empire Stater to a movie ticket.
Recommended viewing: "The Fall."