The Campaign Finance Flip Flop

There is only one thing that bothers me about the recent Obama flip flop on campaign finance. He started his statement to his supporters by saying that he would be foregoing more than $80 million in funding by opting out of public financing. Why on Earth did he say that and why did his handlers let him say that? The $80 mil he is “foregoing” is a drop in the bucket compared to what he has and what he will continue to raise. Why he felt he needed to frame this in the context of sacrifice is beyond me.

That said, the idea that this flip flop makes him a typical pol is ridiculous. A typical pol, works within the current system and plays it for all it’s worth. McCain will stick with public financing and let the 527’s do the dirty work for him in the traditional fashion. Rather than being a typical pol, Obama is going outside the established system and is really running a campaign “of the people”.  As other pundits have noted, Obama’s approach makes him beholden to no one. He has millions of small contributors, none of whom alone can unduly influence his policies. For that matter, his flip flop is not of the gargantuan proportions that McCain supporters would have you believe. Almost from the minute that Obama signed the “pledge” he started hedging, indicating that he would only accept public financing if he was assured that the playing field with McCain would be fair. He has obviously figured out that a fair fight this year means he needs all the money he can get. It’s a very sensible decision.

I guess the other thing that puzzles me is if public campaign funding is provided by tax payer dollars, why wouldn’t conservatives be overjoyed that their tax money is not going towards Obama’s campaign?

Rutherford Political Blogger Alliance


5 thoughts on “The Campaign Finance Flip Flop

  1. The $84 million dollars of taxpayer money that Senator Obama is opting out of should go to causes that desperately need the money, such as Midwestern flood relief or help for displaced Katrina victims who are still not back on their feet or many others too numerous to mention.

  2. 1 – The purpose of public funding is to reduce the influence of private campaign contributors.

    2 – There is a check box on the 1040 forms to fund the program, so, forgive my ignorance, but it seems to be individual voluntary decisions that put it there.

    3 – I haven’t been paying attention. How does eschewing public funds translate into some higher ethic? Last I heard, that was how a candidate avoided other restrictions against large individual contributors and requirements to report the same. ( Romney ) Are public funds now a special interest?

    4 – Trixie, the money is already allocated. The only way Obama, or anyone, could re-direct it to those worthy causes would be to take the money, accepting the other campaign finance restrictions, and donate it themselves. Not gonna happen.

    5 – The winner of this election will be entrusted with Armageddon, the American nuclear arsenal. I think that all the people of the earth want to know that the man in the political advertisements is the same one that may be President. It’s an integrity test, which for a man with as meager a record as Obama, is actually a big deal.

    6 – I don’t know what conservatives think or want concerning the public funding of presidential candidates. Technically, I’m libertarian and an absolutist on freedom of speech, so neither party is happy with me any more than I am with them.

  3. 1. I find the likelihood of Obama’s “small” supporters truly being “small” nil.
    2. Connect to 1. Wait until the next campaign. I’m not a big fan of the campaign finance reforms that have made the big time but this situation will be just another record/barrier/historical benchmark Obama crashes this election.
    3. “Why he felt he needed to frame this in the context of sacrifice is beyond me.” He did it to show sacrifice so the people will keep sending in those checks and paypals.
    4.“Almost from the minute that Obama signed the “pledge” he started hedging,…” That’s waffling not hedging dude. MoveOn the unions the MSM etc. yeah it’ll be a fair fight plus he will raise half a billion for the general. Stop painting him as the greatest. He’s a pol and everything he has ever done has been a calculated action.

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