Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama: That Was Not The Barack Obama I Knew

Barack Hussein Obama has decided to distance himself from the Barack Hussein Obama who promised to accept public financing for his presidential campaign.

In an e-mail message, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said the decision means that his campaign will forgo more than $80 million in public funds.

In exchange for taking public funds, candidates usually agree to a cap on the amount of money they can spend on their campaigns.

"It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections," Obama wrote. "But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system."

Obama repeatedly broke campaign fundraising records during the Democratic primary season. Since January 2007, he has raised more than $272 million.

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, raised less than half that amount, roughly $100 million, over the same period.

Obama's advisers argue that the Illinois Democrat has set up a "parallel" public fundraising system by soliciting small donations over the Internet.

Two months ago, McCain criticized Obama for appearing to backtrack from a previous commitment to accept public financing for his presidential campaign.

Steve Schmidt, a senior McCain adviser, called Obama's decision to opt out of public financing "a broken promise of staggering dimensions."

Of course, what's broken about the campaign finance system is that Barack Hussein Obama has shown that he can raise a lot more than $80 million.

More here.

Key phrase: His broken promise: “I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”

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