It has been said that money is the mother's milk of politics. If so, then Barack Obama' presidential campaign will be getting his milk somewhere other than Uncle Sam.
I've never been a huge fan of campaign financing restrictions or government funding of campaigns. I understand the logic. A limit can be on expenditures for campaigns. Fine. But to use tax money to pay for campaigns or political conventions is just wrong.
Of course, the minute that Obama's campaign said it would not accept government funds for the campaign, the opposition yells foul. Now McCain says foul because he claims Obama is going back on his word to accept financing. Or could it be the real beef is two other reasons. First, McCain helped write the rules on campaign financing. Secondly, Obama will be able to raise well over 100 million dollars.
Personally, I think it's the latter.
For years, Democrats hollered that there was too many big donors headed for the GOP and someone had to limit the contributions. Now it seems that the prospective Democratic nominee thinks he can do better than the $70-75 million he would get under the matching funds initiative.
He can do much better. He should be able to raise another quarter of a billion dollars and he probably will need to.
Of course, Obama is now saying that he has to go outside the campaign financing in order to protect himself. He says he must be able to run ads that will combat the 527's that will surely pop up smearing his good name. He also says that the campaign financing laws are broken.
He is right in that there will be hundreds of ads run against him by non-authorized Republican or McCain organizations. They will call themselves cute little names "Non Hussain's for US" - referring to Obama's middle name. Or "Citizens for Swearing in on Scripture" -referring to the rumor that Obama was sworn in on the Koran (he was sworn in on a Bible but that doesn't matter). Or maybe "Citizens who are Always Proud of Their Country" referring to Michelle Obama's comment during the primary season.
Regarding the laws not working, that's an excuse. It may be broken but he had to say something other than "I think I'm going to be swift boated."
McCain may be calling foul because he knows his campaign won't raise as much as Obama. That would be the honest answer. Obama's decision also puts McCain in a bad position. He has to agree to campaign spending caps and public financing as stated in the legislation that holds his name or say that the financing doesn't apply to my campaign. He really can't do the latter. Johnny Mac is screwed.
Yes, Obama will have the money advantage.
What does this mean to most of America? At least every swing state will get a taste of what Iowans got before the caucuses. Two or three flyers in the mail daily. Radio ads on every commercial break, sometimes two 30 second ads in one 2 minute break. Television stations looking like they are getting all of their revenue for campaigns. We will be saturated with Obama this and McCain that. And just think, it's only June.
November is still 5 months away.