All Aboard for Fund Time

|

On June 19, Barack Obama opted out of public financing. I interpreted this as a sign that his coffers were overflowing, and that the combined efforts of NPR pledgers, English lit professors, union heavies and chastened ex-Hillary donors (b-b-b-but I wanted to be ambassador to Laos!) would power him to a massive fundraising haul. Smart conservative Patrick Ruffini disagreed:

The rumor now is that Obama has raised $30 million. A number like this not be a problem but for the fact that Obama opted out of the public financing system with a smug look on his face that suggested a gusher of cash in the offing. With him formally capturing the nomination in June, that doesn't seem to be happening. In fact, Obama's opting out is starting to look at best premature and at worst a complete strategic blunder… if it were really impressive, they wouldn't be holding it back.

And so on—there's more throat-clearing at the link. The hot topic at a conservative book party I went to last week (among the politicos, at least) was whether Obama's fundraising would dip below the $22 million he raised in May.

Ahem.

Because of your generosity and commitment, we're reporting to the press today that this campaign is in a very strong financial position. In the month of June, supporters like you helped raise $52 million.

Basically the right and the press got snowed: Obama held back the numbers to lower expectations and to shame McCain's total of $22 million. For some perspective, look at John Kerry's fundraising in 2004. In June, he raised $34 million. So Obama's raising two-thirds more than Kerry was, and McCain is raising one-third less. It's even darker for McCain when you realize he raised only $1 million more in June than he raised in May—Obama beat his May total by about 150 percent.

I bring this up not only to shame the complacent right that is ever expecting something to fly out of space and derail Obama, but to tramp some more dirt on the grave of the public financing system. Yesterday, Ben Smith reported the latest matching funds released by the FEC.

John Edwards: $4,057,452.60
Joe Biden: $1,135,035.94
Dennis Kucinich: $970,521.05
Chris Dodd: $514,173.62
Ralph Nader: $411,187.85
Duncan Hunter: $353,527.32

Those numbers for Hunter and Nader are comparable to what they actually raised in the primary season—more than Nader raised, I believe. Anyone want to argue that the FEC was reflecting the voice of the people? Anyone still want to argue for this system?

Advertisement

NEXT: Rough Ridin' on Economic Policy

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Yawn, Corruption is Bliss isnt it. Politicians are clearly bought and paid for in today’s politics. I bet the Fore fathers (real politicians who actually CARED about the Sheeple) are rolling over in their graves today!

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  2. Fore fathers? Who knew Washington golfed?

  3. I bet the Fore fathers (real politicians who actually CARED about the Sheeple) are rolling over in their graves today!

    Someone who clearly has never read the Federalist Papers.

    Or heard of the Whiskey Rebellion.

    Or read, well, *anything* written by Alexander Hamilton (which of course is already partially covered by the aforementioned Federalist Papers).

    [Sigh.]

    The forefathers were human. HUMAN!!!

  4. Anyone still want to argue for this system?
    I’m sure some idiot will show up to defend it. ~ 1.4 megabucks to publicize Nader, Kucinich, and Hunter views. I’d rather spend it on another teapot museum.

  5. You’re leaving out one important number — the amount of cash the RNC has on hand. That plus McCain’s money is in excess of Obama/DNC’s cash.

    If Obama’s thinking he’s gonna buy this election, he’s got another thing commin’.

  6. I really wonder if either POTUS candidate really matters this year.

    1) Obama – Will almost certainly be shot dead by some racist inbred redneck moron, and quickly, if he wins leaving us with his VP.

    2) McCain is older than god and is extremely unlikely to survive his term, leaving us with his VP.

  7. You’re leaving out one important number — the amount of cash the RNC has on hand.

    Very true. The RNC’s resilience, relative to the DNC’s weakness, is keeping McCain from being swamped. But the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees are raising more than their Republican counterparts, so the RNC might have to dip in to rescue Gordon Smith or John Sununu in the final weeks. Also, my point isn’t that Obama will swamp McCain as much as that he did not make a mistake getting off public financing.

  8. ktc2 —

    I believe this has occurred to the people running for office. That’s why they are being uncommonly coy about their veep picks.

  9. Obama – Will almost certainly be shot dead by some racist inbred redneck moron, and quickly, if he wins leaving us with his VP

    Are you actually serious?

  10. Are you actually serious?

    Oh come on, Epi. This hasn’t occurred to you as a distinct possibility? If someone is *really* determined to off him (or, really, anyone), it really doesn’t matter how many Secret Service agents you put around him.

  11. I agree that you can’t stop someone really determined. But when you consider the hatred for Bush and the fact that nobody has offed him, do you think the charming Obama is going to get snuffed?

    Of course it’s possible, but is it probable? I doubt it.

  12. I think the Secret Service has gotten much better since Kennedy.

  13. But when you consider the hatred for Bush and the fact that nobody has offed him, do you think the charming Obama is going to get snuffed?

    Two facts distinguish the cases.

    1.) Most of the people who hate Bush are unarmed whiners. The residual group is a bunch of armed whiners who never have and never will shoot at a human being.

    2.) Obama is perceived by the hypothetical flyover state hick as not just a bad presidential candidate, but also as a *Muslim* (who are, let’s not forget, *teh ENEMY* and for whom even torture is too good).

  14. I think the Secret Service has gotten much better since Kennedy.

    Well they sure as shit don’t put the top down on the caddy anymore.

  15. I would think that the vast majority of people who hate Bush the most are also terrified of guns. The Obama-haters, not so much.

  16. I would honestly like to know how the Secret Service protects against snipers. You’d think a really good one could get anybody who ever steps outside.

  17. Epis,

    Charming or not, he’s not Caucasian and that is all the reason in the world for these ignorant racist types to kill him.

    Their hatred is irrational and routinely manifests as violence and murder throughout the world.

    I know, I’d like to think we have “evolved” beyond that and I do think many have but there are still places in the USA where the majority have not and they will react violently to a black POTUS.

  18. Jews and Bankers run the world.

    If Obama deviates from the bipartisan “defence of Israel at any cost” foreign policy line, there is no doubt in my mind that his assasination will be forthcoming.

    There is no mercy for anyone who leaves Israel out in the cold.

  19. @ktc2

    McCains mother is still alive so unless he was born when she was 8 – McCain will easily live through two terms.

    And I don’t buy the whole Obama is going to be assassinated bit thrown out – people have an irrational hatred of every president.

  20. Tim,

    I think you underestimate the violence and hatred of America’s racists.

    I spent too many years of my youth in a place called Highland County Virginia which borders on Pendleton County West Virginia. Trust me, some of these inbred retards are already plotting it and there’s probably been a boom in engraving business caused solely by bullets with the name “Obama”.

  21. Jews and Bankers run the world.

    Uh, … Okaaaay.

  22. “Obama is perceived by the hypothetical flyover state hick as not just a bad presidential candidate, but also as a *Muslim* (who are, let’s not forget, *teh ENEMY* and for whom even torture is too good).”

    Huh? Who are you talking about? Did you just make this up?

    This isn’t the first time I’ve heard people pontificating about assassination. I’m curious where that even comes from. You sound just like the rightwingers who swear Hillary is a KGB plant.

  23. “there’s probably been a boom in engraving business caused solely by bullets with the name “Obama”.”

    Yeah. I bet.

  24. I think you underestimate the violence and hatred of America’s racists.

    And I think you overestimate their intelligence, planning skills, and willingness to go to Supermax for life just to kill a half-white guy.

  25. I’m crediting David with a Peter Murphy reference.

  26. Huh? Who are you talking about? Did you just make this up?

    I do believe that particular arrangement of words is original to me, but the sentiment behind them is on full and constant display quite often.

    And oddly enough, the part of my post you quote has little to do with assassination. Just a point about how today’s hicks view Obama as a (crypto-) Muslim, the Muslim as the Other, and the Other as the enemy. Once upon a not long time ago, you could substitute “Black” or “Jew” or “Catholic” for “Muslim” with ease.

    And as we all know, the enemy should be destroyed with extreme prejudice.

  27. I think the Secret Service has gotten much better since Kennedy.

    Didn’t Reagan get shot ?

  28. Obama’s safety is more threatened because he is NOT a Muslim than because he might have some Muslim influence (to the extent a “father” who ran off on a child can have an influence), or be considered “Muslim” by some hick with email. To radical non-allah carte Muslims, Obama is the lowest of the lows. He is worse than a pork-eating atheist Jew. He was born to a Muslim father, but rejected Islam for what must be the superior faith, Christianity. Because he rejected the false religion for the love of the one true God whose son is Jesus Christ, Obama is an apostate. And he is an apostate who likes to remind everyone how Christian he is and one who does not like to be photographed with Muslims lest he catch their icky Islamic germs.

  29. bigbigslacker —

    Stop me if I’m wrong, but I was always under the impression that Muslim religious identification worked through the maternal line, like in Judaism. If that’s the case, then apostasy is not a legitimate charge against him even when playing with ultra-shitty-stupid religious rules.

    Besides, his father was reportedly an Atheist before Obama was born, so even if it works through the paternal line, the charge doesn’t fly. His father might be on the hook for apostasy if he wasn’t already dead and if he actually gave a fuck, which he obviously didn’t since he didn’t get deaded by a Muslim extremist, to my knowledge. Unless they are also super-duper secret agents adept at assassination via automobile collision.

  30. I would honestly like to know how the Secret Service protects against snipers. You’d think a really good one could get anybody who ever steps outside.

    I know when President Clinton spoke at my school’s graduation (year before I graduated), they cleared off a huge area and did a sweep of anywhere they had a sight line. The only way someone could do it would be across the river, from about a kilometer out. It was a hot summer day, so the changing breeze from land-water-land would muck things up. Not to mention when they drive there are multiple identical cars.

  31. Because he rejected the false religion for the love of the one true God whose son is Jesus Christ, Obama is an apostate.

    Sometimes, as shown above, indoctrination takes.

    Sometimes, it doesn’t.

  32. LMNOP,

    Nope, Islam is passed on the paternal line. However, he’s not technically an apostate because he was raised Christian. The moment of choice is puberty.

  33. “Indoctrination takes”

    Takes away your money
    Takes away your time
    Takes away your critical thinking

    But, I’m not indoctrinated. I don’t even have a Masters.

  34. LMNOP,

    Nope, Islam is passed on the paternal line. However, he’s not technically an apostate because he was raised Christian. The moment of choice is puberty.

    Thanks for the info! That makes sense; all those Abrahamic religions emphasize choice as the crux of moral culpability, and had a definite cutoff age for responsibility.

  35. But, I’m not indoctrinated. I don’t even have a Masters.

    Subtle comebacks are an underappreciated art form.

  36. I would honestly like to know how the Secret Service protects against snipers.

    Counter-snipers, I assume. Seriously.

  37. Politics is like football: we’re finding people to root for, not picking candidates because we believe they’ll be effective.

  38. If someone were really determined and didn’t mind dying/going to jail for life, they could get a shot off at the President, yes. That doesn’t mean they’d hit, and if they did hit, it doesn’t mean the President would die.

    My feeling is that if Obama becomes President, he’ll be at higher risk of an assassination attempt than the average President, but I’d still put my money on him surviving the four or eight years in office. (And, obviously, that’s a good thing).

  39. DNC raised 22 million. Candidate + Party is something like 92 million, versus McCain + RNC’s 95 million.

    McCain probably shit a break this morning. The GOP is used to a massive cash advantage. I don’t think they know how to compete on an even field.

  40. My feeling is that if Obama becomes President, he’ll be at higher risk of an assassination attempt than the average President, but I’d still put my money on him surviving the four or eight years in office. (And, obviously, that’s a good thing).

    Oh, I would too. My thing is, since there is a heightened risk, the VP choice is all the more important.

  41. Of course if he were to pick Hillary . . .

    That gunshot might come from close range, right behind/beside him.

  42. The more money they raise, the more they have to bow to special interests, big corporations, etc., after they are elected. The crisis in this country has been long in the making and at the brink of collapse, mostly thanks to the corporate greed with no ethics and no accountability, but manipulate people with pseudo moral and empty promises to line big execs pockets. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class is vanishing in lightening speed.

    The only way to take back the government is to vote for someone who’s NOT connected to this two-party sellout. http://WWW.VOTENADER.COM. It’s time for a REAL change.

  43. My feeling is that if Obama becomes President, he’ll be at higher risk of an assassination attempt than the average President

    Mebbe. I just don’t pick up the frothing hate vibe WRT Obama that I do with Bush. At least not yet. Maybe you have to actually be President to be hated like that.

  44. His “burn rate” is equally staggering.

    Like the old saying goes, “The more you make the more you need!”

    The only way to take back the government is to vote for someone who’s NOT connected to this two-party sellout. http://WWW.VOTENADER.COM. It’s time for a REAL change.

    Like the old saying goes, “Know your audience!”

  45. RC Dean, you’ve never been to littlegreenfootballs.com?

  46. I just don’t pick up the frothing hate vibe WRT Obama that I do with Bush

    The concern isn’t about his political opponents – the tens of millions of regular conservatives – having a “Derangement Syndrome.”

    It’s a few thousand, maybe tens of thousands, of neo-Nazis, Klansmen, or “Phineas Priests” scattered across this country.

  47. nice iggy/bowie reference in the title

  48. I heard Pelosi speak a couple of times before winning her seat and I was impressed with her – but she turned out to be a great disappointment – she flip-flops on issues just like Obama – they have the flip-flop syndrome.

    On Monday they say one thing and by Tuesday it changes to another thing — they contradict themselves and they are good at giving speeches — we get so duped by great speeches — look at these people’s track records.

    Read Obama’s books — look at Chicago — his district — who has he helped?

    Obama is in love with Obama and America is in trouble if he becomes president. Obama speaks of “change” — how can he change anything — he’s being lead by the ears by the old-school network — they own him — they write his speeches and direct him like a puppet.

    WE NEED TO REPLACE DEMS IN CONGRESS!

    VOTE FOR JOHN McCAIN IN 2008.

  49. I think you underestimate the violence and hatred of America’s racists.

    I spent too many years of my youth in a place called Highland County Virginia which borders on Pendleton County West Virginia. Trust me, some of these inbred retards are already plotting it and there’s probably been a boom in engraving business caused solely by bullets with the name “Obama”.

    The thing is, most of these people are, as you pointed out, quite inbred. I’ve lived around that sort, and while some of them might have the blind hate to attempt such an act, none of them have the intelligence. My experience has been that inbred white trash types, the sort I’m sure you are referring to, are not just stupid, they are staggeringly stupid, to the point of barely being human. (I’m from the Missouri Ozarks BTW)

  50. Since Obama has a muslim name, and a muslim father, yet is not a muslim, then he is, by some readings, an apostate former muslim. Of the Billion muslims in the world, perhaps only 10,000 would consider it their job to murder him for being apostate.

    So, if, heaven forfend, Obama is elected, and was murdered by muslim(s)…Could we THEN fight the war on terror with the Democrats on OUR side?

  51. Jews and Bankers run the world.

    Obviously the thing for him to do is make a deal with the Jews to protect him from the bankers. Or vice versa.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.