Thursday, February 28, 2008

Public Financing: The Seeds of a New Response

In addition to scouring the media and compiling the news in an easy to follow format, I also look for opportunities to point out things which others may have missed.

During Tuesday’s debate, Obama faced a question re: accepting public financing for the general election. Parts of his answer were familiar to those who follow his campaign, yet he added the following:

“Now what I want to point out, though, more broadly is how we have approached this campaign. I said very early on I would not take PAC money. I would not take money from federal-registered lobbyists. That -- that was a multimillion-dollar decision but it was the right thing to do and the reason we were able to do that was because I had confidence that the American people, if they were motivated, would in fact finance the campaign.

We have now raised 90 percent of our donations from small donors, $25, $50. We average -- our average donation is $109 so we have built the kind of organization that is funded by the American people that is exactly the goal and the aim of everybody who's interested in good government and politics supports."

It seems like Obama is laying the groundwork for the reasoning that will allow him to shift away from the notion of accepting public financing. IF he is able to convince people that “public financing” has been achieved through the grassroots efforts of his campaign, then he can potentially decline McCain’s offer while still seeming true to his word. I’m not certain how many people caught it, but I expect this to become a core part of his response to the issue.

Would you be convinced by such an approach? Would it compromise his character? Comment and let your voice be heard.

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