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Obama Rejects Public Financing

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This is his announcement…

If everybody remembers correctly, what Obama pledged to do was sit down and try to come to an agreement with McCain on public financing. This never happened between McCain and Obama themselves, but their campaigns talked.

Rightfully so, McCain’s camp is attacking this reversal…

“Today, Barack Obama has revealed himself to be just another typical politician who will do and say whatever is most expedient for Barack Obama.

“The true test of a candidate for President is whether he will stand on principle and keep his word to the American people. 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.

“Barack Obama is now the first presidential candidate since Watergate to run a campaign entirely on private funds. This decision will have far-reaching and extraordinary consequences that will weaken and undermine the public financing system.”

Here’s Obama’s side…

“In the past couple of weeks, our campaign counsels met and it was immediately clear that McCain’s campaign had no interest in the possibility of an agreement,” Burton said. “When asked about the RNC’s months of raising and spending for the general election, McCain’s campaign could only offer its expectation that the Obama campaign would probably, sooner or later, catch up. And shortly thereafter, Senator McCain signaled to the 527s that they were free to run wild, without objection.”

Burton said that while Obama had essentially shut down fundraising for Progressive Media USA, which aspired to be a major anti-McCain media voice, McCain had sent no such clear signal to GOP 527s.

Hmmm, that’s pretty weak. I mean, sure, Obama stopped one of these groups, but is he going to stop all of them? I have serious doubts.

So is this decision disappointing to me personally? Yep. I would have liked to see him just accept public financing and let the chips fall where they may. However, do I understand why he’s opting out, given that nearly all of Obama’s $265 million has come from donations of $100 or less? Of course. I mean, if what Obama has done isn’t the realization of true public financing, I’m not exactly sure what else you could point to as a better example.

More as it develops…