Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Today's Special: The Waffle

In November, Mr. Obama said he would accept public financing for the general campaign if John McCain committed to public funds. Now he doesn't want to be tied down by the spending limits attached to public funds. This is embarrassing. Solution: Call his Internet contributors a "parallel public financing" system.

That's not the Change you were talking it Senator? Is this a manifestation of the Kerry endorsement?

Good for him. But Mr. Obama is unmistakably talking about abandoning the virtuous world that campaign finance reformers have in mind. The reformers' agenda has always been to limit "the influence of money" in politics, and do so by capping the amount candidates can spend. This naturally appealed to Mr. Obama when he was the underdog. But now that he's top dog, standing on principle isn't as appealing as the prospect of a colossal war chest.

Mr. Obama once said he would "aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." Mr. McCain has already taken steps toward public financing in the general election. So now Mr. Obama wants to preserve his reputation as a reformer while exploiting his new financial advantage. We are all beginning to learn how expansive the meaning of "change" is.

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