Friday, February 22, 2008

Obama Shows His Cards


Looks like Obama has some strategery of his own.

Too soft to withstand a Republican assault. Too vague to know how he'd govern. Those two big raps on Barack Obama can now be shelved. The Illinois senator this week provided his first, highly illuminating, example of how he'd operate in the Oval Office. It's clear he's as crafty as Hillary Clinton.

This case study has to do with that great love of good-government types, campaign finance. Last year, Mr. Obama sparked his campaign by pressuring Republicans to join him in a pledge to use only public money in a general election. Last week, when rival and fellow pledge-taker John McCain reminded him of that promise, Mr. Obama refused to go "locking" himself into an agreement.

This "No, We Can't" moment is supposedly a function of the Obama campaign's belief that it can massively out-raise Mr. McCain, and wants no public financing limits. The more cynical (and likelier) case is that Mr. Obama is using this in hopes of handicapping Mr. McCain in the upcoming months -- well before the general election begins.

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