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Analysis: Obama chose winning over his word

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Heisenberg, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Pow! Pow!

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    http://www.newsweek.com/id/142287

    Analysis: Obama chose winning over his word
    Analysis: Opting out of public financing, Obama choses winning over his word
    LIZ SIDOTI Associated Press Writer AP
    Updated: 3:30 PM ET Jun 19, 2008

    Barack Obama chose winning over his word.

    The Democrat once made a conditional agreement to accept taxpayer money from the public financing system, and accompanying spending limits, if his Republican opponent did, too.

    No more.

    The chance to financially swamp John McCain — and maneuver for an enormous general election advantage — proved too great an allure.

    Obama, a record-shattering fundraiser, reversed course Thursday and decided to forgo some $85 million so he could raise unlimited amounts of money and spend as much as he wants.

    "It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections," Obama said in announcing that despite his previous commitment, he would rely only on private donations because "the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken."

    And with that, the first-term Illinois senator tarnished his carefully honed image as a different kind of politician — one who means what he says and says what he means — while undercutting his call for "a new kind of politics."

    McCain, for his part, painted the issue as a character test, saying: "This election is about a lot of things. It's also about trust. It's about keeping your word."

    Not that the Arizona senator has much room to talk. He, too, has cast himself as a reformer who tells it like it is but his words and actions sometimes conflict with that identity.

    Overall, the race between Obama and McCain amounts to an authenticity contest.

    Voters are craving change from typical Washington ways and each candidate is claiming he offers a new brand of politics that transcends poisonous partisanship. Yet, each candidate, in what he says versus what he does, also is undermining his own promises not to become the politics of usual.

    McCain, for instance, opposed President Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. Now, as a White House hopeful in 2008, he supports them; he says doing otherwise would amount to a tax increase. He also long advocated an eventual path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants. Then, while in the GOP primary, he emphasized securing the borders first; he says he listened to the public outcry and a defeated Senate bill.

    The Republican also rails against special interests, yet he has faced criticism for having former lobbyists at his campaign's helm. And, just this week, McCain assailed Obama for proposing a windfall profits tax on oil, despite saying last month he would consider the same proposal.

    "McCain's a four-star flip-flopper," said Chris Kofinis, a Democratic operative who worked for John Edwards in the primary. "The John McCain of 2000 wouldn't vote for the John McCain of 2008."

    True or not, Republicans were quick to pound Obama over his money announcement.

    "'Change We Can Believe In' has been thrown overboard for 'Political Expediency I Can Win With,'" said Todd Harris, a Republican analyst and aide to former presidential candidate Fred Thompson in the primary. "Every time Obama's change rhetoric meets his actual change record it evaporates in a cloud of hypocrisy."

    Last year, as Obama competed against fundraising behemoth Hillary Rodham Clinton and before his fundraising prowess was evident, Obama proposed that both major party general election nominees agree to stay in the public financing system.

    In a November 2007 questionnaire, Obama answered "yes" when asked: "If you are nominated for president in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?" He added: "I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election."

    Then, Obama raised enormous sums — and he started backing away from that position.

    McCain, however, had indicated he would go along with the proposal and, since clinching the GOP nomination, has been trying to hold Obama to his commitment. Obama "said he would stick to his word. He didn't," McCain complained Thursday, and then told reporters in Minnesota, "We will take public financing."

    Obama made his announcement as McCain was in the Democrat's hometown of Chicago — where McCain had come to raise money.

    Obama's decision also came one day before the candidates were required to report their May fundraising totals.

    The move could be the death-knell for the post-Watergate federal financing system designed to lessen the large donors' influence and reduce corruption.

    It certainly will give Obama an extraordinary advantage over McCain and Republicans who have struggled to match Democratic fundraising this election cycle. Within hours, Obama showed his financial might by rolling out a 60-second television ad in 18 states, including several that have been reliable GOP strongholds.

    Obama made the money announcement in a video message to supporters — and sought to empower them to give more.

    "You've fueled this campaign with donations of $5, $10, $20, whatever you can afford," Obama said in an appeal seeking donations from $25 to $2,300 and beyond.

    "Let's build the first general election campaign that's truly funded by the American people," Obama said — ignoring the fact that the system he's opting out of is paid for by taxpayers who donate $3 to the fund when they file their tax returns.

    Obama blamed his decision in part on McCain and "the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups." But he failed to mention that the only outside groups running ads in earnest so far are those aligned with Obama — and running commercials against McCain.

    So much for being a straight shooter.
  2. hank2k

    hank2k Member

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    McCain has flipflopped on more issues than 10 candidates put together so this is no big deal.

    The bottom line is that taking public financing is an effort to make sure special interests and lobbyists don't unduly influence a campaign.

    The fact that so many of Obama's donors are of the small money 5/10/15 dollar range accomplishes the same thing.

    Incidentally, Mccains campaign is filled with lobbyists and special interest money despite his taking public financing.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/21/AR2008022101131_pf.html

    I used to think this would be a tight election but with this $$$ advantage , it might not even be close.http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/story?id=5207140&page=1

    Get ready for more desperate smears from the slime merchants.
  3. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Pow! Pow!

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    It's not like it wasn't expected. The moment he started breaking fundraising records, it was obvious he was going to opt out. It affords him such a great advantage that he would be an idiot not to go this direction.

    I would have been much more disappointed if he would have gone with public financing.

    You have to win the election before you can accomplish anything.
  4. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Why am I not surprised that one of our resident libs immediately attacks McCain for Obama going back on his word?
  5. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    To me, this is a big deal. I think Obama has basically shown that he is a typical politician who will do anything to get elected. He was claiming that he was different for Clinton and McCain in this respect - he is not!
  6. SkinsHokieFan

    SkinsHokieFan Well-Known Member

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    The small donor fallacy is just that, a fallacy

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy.../06/19/AR2008061903027.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    </H1>
  7. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Lets see Obama decided to forgo 85 million so he could rake in Hundreds of millions to win a election that needs to be won.

    Seems pretty smart to me.

    One hand...85 million.

    The other hand...HUNDREDS of Millions.

    Which do I take?

    Lets see...Hmmm....

    Oh...I better not change my mind....:eek:

    Boo Frickin Hoo!

    [IMG]
  8. COWBOYSNUM1

    COWBOYSNUM1 Active Member

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    I am a Republican who really doesn't think a whole lot of McCain, but to say he is a big flipflopper is a stretch.

    As far as the money advantage, it's not like you think. Obama's campaign may have more money than McCain's, but the RNC will end up spending a whole lot more than the DNC.
  9. canters

    canters Active Member

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    Obama must think he is going to win. Cocky fellow, ain't he?

    He is and will always be unelectable. Let the elite rich whites, academics, and blacks send him $$. What a waste.
  10. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    What are you talking about?

    He claims to be the candidate of change.

    And he proved it. He changed positions on this issue.

    Candidate of change!
  11. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives.

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    Lol...Good one Vint.
  12. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

    Good point!
  13. hank2k

    hank2k Member

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    Elite whites, academics, blacks? Sounds like Iowa to me (sarcasm).

    No beer drinkers in this crowd?
    [IMG]
  14. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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  15. SuspectCorner

    SuspectCorner Bromo

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    Actually Obama just evidenced he's way ahead of the Bush "learning curve" when it comes to an understanding of economies. This was a no-brainer.
  16. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    So he's smarter than a ******** chipmunk.

    What about that is supposed to impress me?
  17. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Pow! Pow!

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    [IMG]
  18. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    edit: I just pwned myself
  19. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    EXACTLY right... let the Republicans woof about goin' back on your word, I'll just point out that Dubya told us during the 2000 election that his regime would not be involved in regime change, he promised to have the most open administration in modern history, he promised to be a uniter, not a divider...

    And lo and behold, his administration gleefully got involved in regime change in Iraq, his administration has been one of the most secretive since at least Richard Nixon's, and he has completely polarized this country with his bullheaded, "my way or the highway" approach to politics...

    My point?? They ALL promise crap they never intended to deliver on, I don't care much to hear howls of protest about Obama opting out of public financing from people who have refused to hold Dubya accountable for the promises he's reneged on...

    I can't tell you how happy I am that Obama went back on his word on this one; he'd be a card-carrying IDIOT to pass up a financial edge like that... sometimes, a President needs to make decisions based on pragmatism rather than idealism, apparently Barack is capable of doing so...
  20. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Why am I not surprised that the only response you EVER have is to squawk "libs... libs... libs"??

    Your next substantial contribution to the political debate in here will be your first...

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