Patterico's Pontifications

2/18/2008

Will Obama Accept Public Financing As He Promised?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:29 am



Captain Ed discusses whether Obama will keep his pledge to John McCain to accept public financing if Obama and McCain are their parties’ respective nominees. If Obama does, he will be giving up a major fundraising advantage.

I don’t like the idea of publicly financed campaigns, but this is about keeping one’s word. If Obama goes back on his pledge, it means that he’ll keep his word unless it’s inconvenient to do so.

That doesn’t sound like “change” to me. It sounds like a lot more of the same.

15 Responses to “Will Obama Accept Public Financing As He Promised?”

  1. “Captain Ed discusses whether Obama will keep his pledge to John McCain to accept public financing if Obama and McCain are their parties’ respective nominees.”

    You should double-check what the pledge is before you decide to hold people to their word.

    stef (9ae93b)

  2. Stef’s got a point, though not one that speaks well of Obama’s changeyness. The “aggressively pursue” language of the actual pledge may well stock it with the necessary qualifiers and weasel-words to allow those pledged to continue making use of private and privately-raised funds while still claiming to, if not strictly abide by it, then at least claim a good-faith effort.

    Which, as noted by our esteemed host, is the very definition of “more of the same.”

    PCachu (e072b7)

  3. Haw Haw, I can’t BELIEVE that Obama or anyone would go for a “lets all just use public financing ‘kay?” deal. That sounds like a sucker’s agreement. 1. Neither of those guys are going to abide by it coz there are all those OTHER people out there who are going to finance attack and non-attack ads etc. as “independant” groups. 2. …which will open up a long and tedious “you cheetid” “No I di’unt” back and forth. I guess it will let us know whether or not Obama has any rough and tumble meet their lies with better lies political chops (ie “experience”) and whether McCain’s ticker can handle the wins and setbacks from the inevitable double dealing and skullduggery that will ensue.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  4. “Which, as noted by our esteemed host, is the very definition of “more of the same.””

    If it were more of the same we’d find several other candidates making the same pledge.

    stef (7b3836)

  5. Obama’s spokesman is already hedging.

    “McCain advisers have said in recent days that he would abide by his proposal.

    But on Thursday, [Obama spokesman] Burton said any speculation about what Obama will do is premature. “This is a question we will focus on directly if he is the nominee,” he said. “It was something that we pursued with the FEC and it was an option that we wanted on the table and is on the table.”

    Asked if the campaign’s earlier position amounted to a pledge, Burton said: “No, there is no pledge.”

    McCain said he thought he and Obama had agreed on the issue. “We had an agreement, as I recall, months ago that if he were the candidate and I were the candidate we would both accept public funding for the general election. That still holds,” McCain told reporters on his campaign plane. “I didn’t know of any resistance.”

    DRJ (3eda28)

  6. If Obama either declines public financing or offers McCain an unacceptable take-it-or-leave-it deal (no donations over $200), he will be guilty of not “aggressively pursuing” an arrangement with McCain.

    And that is a fantastic talking point for McCain.

    “Obama’s notion of aggressively pursuing something is trying once or twice and then giving up. Let’s hope he never promises to aggressively pursue your interests.”

    I should be Karl Rove.

    wt (ca1cea)

  7. McCain says Obama signed a piece of paper memorializing the pledge. I believe if you follow the link, and the links therein, you’ll see it.

    Perhaps stef can explain how Obama could reject public financing and still keep his word.

    Patterico (566c55)

  8. Stef #4,

    The issue Patterico raised isn’t whether there is “more of the same” when it comes to public financing. The issue is whether there is “more of the same” when it comes to politicians keeping their word.

    But you knew that.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  9. He will take the matching funds. The funds are only available after 28 Aug when the Dems end their conventions. $85M, plus the match, is more than enough for the fall campaign.

    Also, remember that both Bush and Kerry toook federal matching funds in 2004. Why wouldn’t Obama.

    Headhunt23 (9e1243)

  10. DRJ, much as I like politicians keeping their word, I don’t see how Obama can agree at this point.

    If he does, as the RealClearPolitics article linked by Captain Ed points out, the result will just be Senator Clinton using it against him in the nomination fight. She’ll argue that he’s just offering the “Republicans an opportunity to win … [That if] she is the nominee, she can make the case to primary voters, she will show Republicans no mercy, making her the more electable candidate.”

    It’s one thing it seems to me to go back on whatever he proposed a year ago, if it was just him and McCain involved. Seems quite another to me when the Clintons are involved. She, of course, never agreed to any of this, but would be quick to take advantage of it.

    Would be hard for me, as Obama, to give her such a weapon, since I expect he agrees with all of us that another Clinton Presidency would not be a good thing for the country, though perhaps not for the same reasons.

    JayHub (0a6237)

  11. I don’t expect him to keep this pledge either, not as long as his fund-raising continues at this pace. What will be interesting is the excuse he uses to get out of it.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  12. If Obama made such a pledge, and renegs on it, then he is a bastard/typical politician, and I will take everything he says from now on with an additional grain of salt.

    Leviticus (e87aad)

  13. Ahem… “renege”

    That said, if he keeps his word despite the vocal crowing to the Democratic party machinery, I will be proud to vote for him.

    Leviticus (e87aad)

  14. Well, gonna do a dance and it goes like this
    The name of the dance is the ‘Bama-hedge twist
    In a year like this – a big money twist

    Round and round, up and down
    Round and round, up and down
    Around and around, and a up and down and a
    One, two, three kick, one, two, three go

    Well, meet McCain on Halfway Street
    The place where the Five-Two-Seven’s meet
    We wanna learn to do this – the ‘Bama-hedge twist

    It’s allright, all night
    It’s allright (allright, allright, allright)
    It’s okay all day
    It’s okay (okay, okay, okay)
    You wanna learn to do this – the ‘Bama-hedge twist

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, (yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, (yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah, (yeah, yeah, yeah)
    You wanna learn to do this – the ‘Bama-hedge twist

    Come on everybody, lay your hands
    Ah, Hope and Change!
    Gonna beat Hill’ry’s gong and it won’t take long
    The ‘Bama-hedge twist and it goes like this

    Round and round, up and down
    Round and round, up and down
    Around and around, and a up and down and a
    One, two, three kick, one, two, three go

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, (yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, (yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah, (yeah, yeah, yeah)
    I wanna learn to do this – the ‘Bama-hedge twist

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, (yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, (yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah, (yeah, yeah, yeah)
    I wanna learn to do this – the ‘Bama-hedge twist…

    MarkJ (946cd9)

  15. Let’s just call it the new okie dokie and then we can all move on.

    ThomasD (dec90d)


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