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I think the main reason Obama has decided to forego public funding is that he sees an opportunity both to raise enough money to campaign even against rightwing 527s and to pull together a resource - a mailing list, if you will, of millions of interested supporters who can be directly contacted on a moment's notice.

But I wonder if there's not another angle to this move by Obama. Mitch McConnell has led the Republican opposition to campaign reform ("Limiting money limits free speech!") for years. Might not the prospect - and ultimately, the reality - of a huge monetary advantage by Obama during this cycle act as a forcing bid to get the Republicans to support significant campaign reform? They would never support it while they had the advantage; might they not change their tune now?

This is pure speculation - and it remains to be seen if a President Obama would follow through. But it strikes me as at least a possibility.

Originally posted to jwhitmill on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 02:27 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  On CNN Bill Bennett (0+ / 0-)

    has said Obama, and I quote is:

    For killing a child.

    Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

    by webranding on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 02:30:22 PM PDT

  •  I think he is doing it (0+ / 0-)

    becuase he can raise more money than McCain.  Everything else is rationalization to cover up his previous support for public financing.

    We may win, which is good, but I think the idea of public financing is dead for the near future.  Perhaps Democrats will always outraise Republicans with the internet, or perhaps big money will find a way to support Republcians after this election as they have before it, thereby erasing that temporary advanatage Obama has.

    The cost, if any, of his decision will not be known for a few years.  He considered being elected worth that risk. McCain is bad, so maybe it's worth it. But I won't delude myself about why this decision was taken.  

    "There is one man who knows in his heart that we have to build one America - not two - and that man is Barack Obama." John Edwards 5/14/08

    by TomP on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 02:30:59 PM PDT

    •  There is also (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BP in NJ

      the legitimate point that the system has holes you can drive a bus through, and the right wing has a whole fleet of buses (all of them # 527)

      Obama without Federal dollars is still more in the spirit of what public funding is supposed to achieve than McCain with. He's not beholden to any big-money interests since most of his cash comes from small donors. He's strongly discouraging 527s and refusing PAC and lobbyist money.

      His opt-out, ironically, could give him a good lever for updating campaign financing rules: he'll be able to say the system's broken because he was forced out of the system despite supporting its principles.

  •  the "Maverick"(tm) (0+ / 0-)

    One of the few genuine claims to Maverickality that McCain has is the McCain-Feingold Act.  Obama's move - not just for his campaign, but for the DNC - steals that issue from McCain.  See, McCain broke his own law in the primary, and will be bound to his corrupt rich friends in the general.  Now OBAMA gets to be the campaign finance reform candidate, not McCain!  

    Maybe we should call it the "Straight Face Express"...

    by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 02:41:39 PM PDT

  •  It's possibly a secondary plan ......... (0+ / 0-)

    but I think Obama looked at the map and how he would be able to expand the democratic brand if he has enough money and decided to go for it.  That's what has the repubs both pissed and scared.

  •  That would be clever (0+ / 0-)

    I have been pointing out how Republicans who have argued against public financing reform on free speech grounds have completely flipped 180 degrees on that to attack Obama on this issue, to the point where it's comical.  While pointing this out remains an easy way to discredit those critics, an alternate route would be to let those Republicans get used to advocating public financing reform, putting statements to that effect on the record in defense of John McCain, and weave that into support on the Hill for major campaign fundraising reforms to come.  I don't see any evidence that this is happening, of course, but I suppose it could be.

    Obama/McCaskill vs. McCain/Jindal? Call it a funny feeling.

    by ShadowSD on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 04:21:52 PM PDT

  •  How would the Republicans ever support (0+ / 0-)

    campaign finance reform?

    That makes no sense-- they are corporate shills, nothing more.

    Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 05:10:22 PM PDT

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