Thursday, June 19, 2008

No Public Financing For Obama

Since Obama's opted out of public financing, he's agreed not to have a spending limit on how much money he can raise. Personally, I always think of what could be done with the millions that will be spent on Obama's and McCain's campaign.

But that's not the way it works and Obama is going to need as much money as possible to reach everyone he needs to reach and to combat McCain's 527s that are out in swiftboat style spreading rumors. The noble sounding is one of those trying to bring Obama down.
Obama's message to supporters

It's ruffling a lot of feathers in the McCain camp, which means only one thing....

NYT: All indications this year are that Mr. Obama will have no problem raising more than that amount for the general election; he raised $95 million in February and March alone, most of it, as his aides noted Thursday, in small contributions raised on the Internet. More than 90 percent of the campaign’s contributions were for $100 or less, said Robert Gibbs, the communications director to Mr. Obama.

That said, the Republican National Committee — which does not operate under the same contribution limits as the candidates — has proved to be much more successful than the Democratic National Committee in raising funds.

Mr. Black said that the McCain campaign’s fundraising was improving, and that its efforts to raise money in conjunction with the Republican National Committee and several state parties working to elect Mr. McCain — which allows donors to contribute far more than the $2,300 limit that they can give to presidential campaigns alone — was yielding results.

“I assume he’s going to outspend us,” Mr. Black said of Mr. Obama, but he added that the money advantage would prove to be less important than it appeared: “We don’t have to spend as much as he does to win.” he said.

For his part, Mr. Obama portrayed the decision to opt out of public financing as one that would limit the influence of special interests in the campaign.

“Instead of forcing us to rely on millions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs, you’ve fueled this campaign with donations of $5, $10, $20, whatever you can afford,” he told his supporters in the video message. “And because you did, we’ve built a grassroots movement of over 1.5 million Americans.”

CNN: Since January 2007, Obama has raised more than $272 million, including nearly $31 million in April. During that same time period, McCain has raised less than half that amount, roughly $100 million. In April, the Arizona Republican brought in roughly $18 million.

McCain already faces disadvantages because of how voters view the Republican Party, said Candy Crowley, CNN's senior political correspondent, but Obama's move presents a "real challenge."

Crowley said McCain may be able to score some political points by arguing he is the true reformer in the race who is staying within the public financing system "designed to take big money out of politics. "

McCain -- who co-sponsored campaign finance reform legislation with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin -- already had criticized Obama for appearing to backtrack from a commitment to accept public financing.

In a statement Thursday, a McCain spokeswoman said that the Democrat "revealed himself to be just another typical politician who will do and say whatever is most expedient" and accused Obama of undermining the public financing system.

"The true test of a candidate for president is whether he will stand on principle and keep his word to the American people," said Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's communications director. "Barack Obama has failed that test today, and his reversal of his promise to participate in the public finance system undermines his call for a new type of politics."

Steve Schmidt, a senior McCain adviser, called Obama's decision "a broken promise of staggering dimensions."

Obama repeatedly broke campaign fundraising records during the Democratic primaries, and his advisers argue that he has set up a "parallel" public fundraising system by soliciting small donations over the Internet.