Obama flips on public funding
Barack Obama announced this week he will not accept public funding. That in itself is no big deal. The big deal is what he had said earlier:
“Senator John McCain has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge,” Obama wrote. “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”
McCain as to date is agreeing to public funding.
Now, I don’t like public funding of elections. To me, fundraising is an indicator of how well a candidate is doing. Regardless of the total dollar amount, looking at the spectrum and count of donations is a good sign of how well a candidate is doing. So, I’d just as soon dropping public financing entirely.
However, what would have been a totally moot point has become an issue because I don’t think Obama has thought this through too well. As a perceived long-shot underdog, public financing looked good to Obama early on by limiting what his opponent could spend. However, as the presumptive candidate who has learned he can raise a ton of money, public financing apparently isn’t so appealing. This hypocritical approach to what was sold as “change” six months ago is yet another easy strike against Obama that only adds more wieght to the argument he’s a very typical DC insider selling an empty promise of “change”.
And, I think it was a bad decision for the very simple reason both candidates can easily dodge the fundraising issue entirely by doing nothing and relying on 527‘s to inflict untold damage on their opponent. Moveon.org has already pledged to spending $400 million to get Obama elected. They’ll do this the only way 527′s can, they’ll trash McCain for six months. Which is pretty ironic to me, considering McCain has as much to do with creating the 527 legal loophole as anyone. Now, McCain is going to finally appreciate the monster that was created with McCain-Feingold.
Now, the Obama people are already saying the “change’ is Obama not selling out to PAC’s and special interests. That’s complete BS. He doesn’t have to accept that money if Moveon is accepting it for him. But, as with the elections of 2000 and 2004, 527′s need to be discussed in the worst way. Unless Obama refuses to allow 527′s like Moveon to do the dirty work for him, he is absolutely no different than any other Washington insider running for office in the last eight years. His “change” is rhetoric only.
Two quick predictions:
I doubt you’ll see THAT angle discussed on major media any time soon.
Obama will look the other way as 527′s wage all-out smear campaigns against McCain. ( Where is the “change”? )