I think I make it pretty clear I don’t know a whole lot about the intricacies of the political system (even if that’s never stopped me from opining about the candidates therein). I say that because I just read this article in the New York Times, which concerns Obama and his decision to opt out of the public campaign financing system, about which I have little clue. The article states it goes back to 1976 and the Watergate scandal, and also that:
Under the federal presidential financing system, a candidate this year would be given $84.1 million from the Treasury to finance a general election campaign. In exchange, the candidate is barred from accepting private donations, or from spending more than the $84.1 million.
The next paragraph notes that Obama raised more than that limit in February and March alone, so I’d kind of think it would behoove him to not get into it. I mean, if the difference is that he could spend $84 million publicly, or twice that privately . . . well, it’s well known I ain’t no maths major, but it seems a no-brainer.
What bugs me is that the article gives two paragraphs to what McCain’s advisors think of the decision (spoiler: they’re not happy and think Obama suxors. Because they, of course, want to beat him and will use any opportunity to badmouth him). What also bugs me is that the article doesn’t actually comment on what this means.
And while I’m not sure what it means, or what effects it might have on the election process, what I wonder about is that latter itself. Because the article states his decision comes because the financing system is “broken;” as 2000 demonstrated, so is the election process itself.
Of course, Obama can’t just outright declare himself above the election process and the new, like, Emperor of America (our last was Norton. Seriously. Awesome story. Look it up).
But what I like about Obama most is that it’s neat to think he might. Maybe somebody should just toss a sword at him the next time he’s by a large-ish body of water. Quick, get on that!