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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 06/20/2008

Obama Reneges on Public Financing

By Michael Dobbs


Democratic debate, Cleveland, OH., Feb. 26, 2008.

"If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." --Barack Obama, answer to Midwest Democracy Network questionnaire, September 2007.

In February 2007, Barack Obama challenged Republican presidential candidates to agree to public financing of the general election. John McCain responded positively, prompting Obama's campaign spokesman, Bill Burton, to call on other Republican candidates to follow suit. The headline in the New York Times: "McCain and Obama in Deal on Public Financing."

Fast forward 16 months. Both Obama and McCain have locked up their party's nominations for the presidency. Obama announces that the system of public financing "is broken," and he will rely on his well-oiled private fundraising machine. The McCain camp accuses the Land-of-Lincolner of "breaking his word." True or false?

The Facts

There is some dispute over whether Obama ever formally pledged to participate in the public financing system if his Republican opponent agreed to do the same. As I have reported in a previous post, the closest he came was in response to a September 2007 questionnaire from the Midwest Democracy Network, which included the question, "If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?"

Obama highlighted the answer "Yes," and elaborated as follows:

I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests.... My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election....If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.

While the "Yes" seemed unequivocal, the Obama camp could (and did) argue that the fine print of the deal remained to be worked out with the eventual Republican nominee. The Illinois senator promised to "aggressively pursue" such an agreement. Furthermore, he told the late Tim Russert of NBC News in February 2008 (click on Youtube video above) that he planned "to sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody."

It seems pretty clear that there never were serious negotiations between the Obama and McCain campaigns on preserving the public financing system for the general election. The Obama camp has pointed to a 40-minute meeting on June 6 at which Obama campaign lawyer Bob Bauer raised some concerns with his McCain counterpart, Trevor Potter. In a conference call Thursday evening, Bauer said that the McCain camp failed to address these concerns (such as the role of 527s and the McCain "headstart" on general election fundraising) and that the Obama campaign had done "everything that could be considered reasonable under the circumstances."

A 40-minute meeting between two lawyers, some of which time was spent on other matters, can hardly be considered an "aggressive" attempt on Obama's part to reach a deal on campaign financing. In addition, Obama appears to have made no attempt to "sit down" with his Republican rival to produce a workable system.

From the point of view of campaign strategy, Obama has good reasons to avoid locking himself into the public financing system. He has proved that he can raise huge sums of money on his own, much of it from small donors. He does not want to disarm in the face of likely Swiftboat-type attacks on his character, mounted by conservative groups not directly affiliated with the McCain campaign. But none of this alters the fact that he has gone back on his word.

The Pinocchio Test

Barack Obama probably wishes that he had been more careful in the wording of some of his earlier statements about the public financing system. His carefully parsed retreat on public financing is similar to his hedging on an earlier promise to meet the leaders of Iran, Cuba, and North Korea "without preconditions" during his first year as president. In this case, however, the turnaround is even more blatant.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | June 20, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  3 Pinocchios, Barack Obama, Candidate Record, Candidate Watch  
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Next: What the President Didn't Know

Comments

so if you say one thing and do another, and you're Barack, it's not a lie.

Get off your Knees!

Posted by: Treanve | June 20, 2008 6:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm not even sure who you are giving the Pinocchios to, but if you have to go back over a year to find conflict then this should be closer to a non-issue. Things change, times change, people change, this is life. No harm no foul, looks like a no call to me.

Posted by: vcsmith | June 20, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

It was expected that Obama (the promoter of change) won't do what he preaches. He says things just to get where he wants. Do people rember when he says he will talk to our enemies such as Castro, Chavez, The Iranias with no preconditions? He also say he will talk to the republicans about public funding but now that he is the democratic nominee he is getting excuses. Do not trust Obama. More thing will come when he becomes the President of the United States. Just watch!

Posted by: rosalynneus | June 20, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Yawn.

All this post needs is another plug for Dobbs' book.

Posted by: William J. | June 20, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama's dissembling about the reason for his decision to renege on his promise to participate in the public financing system for his general election campaign is very troubling. His claim that the public financing system he pledged to adhere to is all of sudden broken does not ring true. The system has not changed since he pledged to participate in it; what has changed is his need to rely on the public financing system to run his campaign. Yet, Mr. Obama, in announcing his decision, chose to conceal his true motive for opting out of the system. His decision and his refusal to be honest about the motivation for his decision raises serious doubts about his credibility on his other promises, including his promise to bring real change to government and the way Washington works. In breaking his promise to work within the public financing system and lying about the reason for it, Mr. Obama has shown his true colors, which must give pause to any who considered voting for him.

Posted by: Joseph | June 20, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

when do you start aggressively "fact-checking" that lovable old maverick john mccain. if this is a column almost exclusively dedicated to finding "some merit" in republican charges then it should be labeled as such.
but wait--this is fred hiatt's post.

Posted by: kathleen | June 20, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Typical WaPo! I was waiting for it to become a Republican mouthpiece again. Please start fact-checking your Grand Old Panderer John McCain before you get up on your "fact-check" high horse. Seems like everytime Obama breathes, WaPo has to "fact-check" whether it's oxygen. Fair and unbiased? Please!

Posted by: rtavon | June 20, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

To: Joseph | June 20, 2008 7:15 AM
And others.

"....Mr. Obama has shown his true colors, which must give pause to any who considered voting for him."

I'm sure you were standing ready to vote for Obama, until this happened. Or is just another attempt at making mountains out of a mole hills.

I suspect that most people couldn't care less about campaign finance issues.

What does it really mean? Obama has the potential to raise an enormous amount of money.

Posted by: vcsmith | June 20, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Going back to Feb 08 is not going back "over a year" to find significant relevance. Take off the blinders. He's no JFK.

Posted by: Juan | June 20, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama has broken his first promise and he is doing the same thing George W. Bush does, he spins the facts and says "what I meant to say" or he claims he never said....
He's a politician, and politicians lie. He's NOT the God that the media and his supporters make him out to be.

Posted by: CR | June 20, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

As this "Fact Checker" is an unsigned piece, I will have to assume it is done by a summer intern that has never heard of Google. In about 10 seconds you can go to Obama's most detailed statement on the matter at an op ed in USA Today:
http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/02/opposing-view-3.html

Does anyone really think McCain would agree to limit the swiftboaters? Please.

Posted by: rw | June 20, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

He is not only a liar, he is the worst kind: a lawyer. (Read the fine prints!)

Posted by: God Father | June 20, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Obama loses whatever credibility he had. He say's he will change Washington. He say's he will get rid of the lobby. He say's he will take America in a new direction.

This decision was based on money! CASH! Not some lofty altruistic goal of taking America out of the belly of corruption. It's more of the same old tell em what they wan't to hear then take the cash! CHANGE! YES WE CAN! Is the snake oil still on sale?

Posted by: donmac | June 20, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Obama's contribution network is composed of more than a million people contributing small amounts of money. How much more publicly financed do you want to be?

Posted by: BA | June 20, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

To vcsmith: I had been seriously considering voting for Obama. I am no fan of public financing for elections, and I do not hold it against someone that they would opt out of the system. I remain troubled, however, by Obama's dissembling on why he opted out. That he would give such a transparently dishonest answer and expect the public to believe it, shows just how dismissive and disrespectful he is to his supporters and the electorate. If he operates this way before he wins the election, what can we expect from him afterward?

Posted by: Joseph | June 20, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

I suggest that any discussion of this issue is not complete without at least some reference to John McCain's use of his wife's corporate jet, which, albeit technically legal, is an example of the "broken" system that gives the candidate with greater personal wealth (or wealthier spouse)a huge advantage.
(See NYT 4/27/08: "McCain Frequently Used Wife's Jet for Little Cost" and 5/10/08: "McCain Plane Still Flying."

The article concluded: "Mr. McCain has said his campaign's method of reimbursing his wife's company for the plane is legal, and no one disputes that. But critics have argued that Mrs. McCain is effectively subsidizing her husband's campaign because either she or her company has to make up for the difference between what his campaign pays for the jet's use and what it really costs to operate it."

Apparently, Obama is too decent to say, "My wife didn't inherit $100 million, and doesn't own a corporate jet. So when my campaign needs to travel, we have to pay full price." But this is the type of thing the media should take note of, before they set to helping McCain bash Obama.

On the larger question, "Is Obama being hypocritical?" Perhaps, but only to the extent that any smart politician is going to exploit every legal advantage. (See, e.g., McCain+wife+jet)

MCain's problem is, when the RNC and GOP 527s start bashing Obama and his family and friends and any distant cousins and casual acquaintances who may have once said something arguably anti-American) -- and you know they will -- it's going to give Obama the perfect opportunity to say, "See what I mean?"

Posted by: Joe O'Connor | June 20, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

So why is there no mention of McCain opting out of the primary public financing system when he tried to use it to get on the ballot and get loan financing based on his acceptance of it. Now he has taken himself out of it without getting the FEC permission to do so... so he is breaking the law. Why doesn't fact checker check on this? McCain is being hypocritical to criticize Obama when McCain did a flip flop on public financing himself. Why can't the WP be objective here and balance out the score instead of just picking on Obama when McCain is at fault as well. I guess you guys just have to make a controversy so you leave out half the facts. That is poor journalism.

Posted by: Lynn | June 20, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama gives new meaning to "public financing" to elections. I'm sending him money for the wise decision on his part. Let's see McCain match Obama dollar for dollar.

Posted by: Black and Bitter Like Coffee | June 20, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm missing something here...Obama is saying he doesn't want to participate in public financing because he is afraid of the RNC and 527's attacking him? Doesn't he have the DNC and 527's on his side? It seems like the playing field is level here. Let his donors give to the DNC or the 527 of their choice instead of his campaign.

It really sounds like Obama, when he made the pledge, was a longshot, and it sounded good. Now that he is in the race he has changed his mind. He sounds more and more like a politician every day. How much change is really here?

Posted by: Michael | June 20, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, doesn't this represent Obama saving taxpayer dollars, because he has been so successful at raising funds from private donors? Thanks Senator Obama. Well, uh, Senator McBush, are you going to follow suit and save us some more bucks?

Posted by: Donny | June 20, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

If Obama agrees to severely hamper his fundraising ability to make good on some specious promise, he can marvel at just how virtuous he was while watching McCain's inauguration address after the Republicans have buried him alive with a dung heap of smears.

He didn't get where he is today by agreeing to kneecap himself for his opponents.

Posted by: TBSS | June 20, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Donny, You should know what you are talking about before you open your mouth. Obama isn't saving taxpayers anything by opting out. The 80 million he is foregoing is all paid in donations made by taxpayers who choose to check the $3.00 donation on their yearly tax returns. The money is all donated and not taxed. Obama is a snake oil salesman. No different than the rest. The question is do you want the government to run your life or do you want to run your own. Both parties suck but I'll be choosing the lesser of two evils and voting to run my own life.

Posted by: Jason | June 20, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Who cares that he broke this pledge (made so long ago)! It is such small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. I'm glad he broke it; now he can get on with winning the election. How about checking McCain's runaround on this issue, and hey, speaking of flip-flopper. Didn't McCain, just the day before, break his pledge not to support off-shore oil drilling? Where's your fact checker on this?

Posted by: Daphne | June 20, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

So does this mean I can get our $6.00 Presidential Campaign Contribution back that our family elected to donate to both party nominees on our tax form?

Mr. NoBama the public finance system is not broken sir, nor was it broken when you haphazardly made your pledge. What is not so easily repaired is your integrity. And just what are you planning to do with your 200-300 million dollar kitty? Run negative ads?

Posted by: Korry | June 20, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

This is such a ridiculous non-issue. How many people really think it's better for the taxpayers to fund the campaign than for self-chosen donors to do so? Moreover, McCain has blatantly skirted the financing laws already by using the private plane of his wife's family when he was down and out on money. Had McCain had to pay for planes, he never would have made it through the process.

While I agree with the three Pinnochios, I think this is about as important as a fudging of whether Obama prefers Cheerios or corn flakes for breakfast.

Posted by: Jayne | June 20, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Good job, Dobbs. There's no way we can trust this guy.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Jason said:

Both parties suck but I'll be choosing the lesser of two evils and voting to run my own life

Fantastic. So... I guess you'll be fixing your own roads? Transporting your local veterans to the local VA hospital? Teaching at your local school? Inspecting your local chemical plant for emmissions? Chasing down your neighborhood criminals to keep your local streets safe?

If you ever get sick you'll have to face an overwhelmed overpriced health care system, but hey! It's your money right? If you lose your job because the economy goes down the tubes and there's no more jobs in the area, that's just the luck of the draw, correct? If gas reaches five dollars a gallon and stays there for the next three or four years, who cares? If our continued bungling of our foreign policy lowers our standing in the world so much that we can no longer defend the country, well... I guess you can don your own AK-47 and protect your family.

Government matters. Good government can and does improve your life, whether you acknowledge it or not.

Posted by: Jon Krivitzky | June 20, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

This analysis contains one great omission:

What was John McCain's answer to that public financing question from the Midwest Democracy Network?

Answer: Nothing. He refused to answer.

Do you get Pinnochios for that?

Posted by: Ego Nemo | June 20, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Jayne, This is an issue because it goes straight to the heart of the question of Obama's integrity. It's another data point which shows he is willing to say one thing and do another when it suits him. You either stand for and by your principles or you don't. Obama is showing he doesn't. I'm not suggesting that you can never change your mind on a subject but to do so in such a short period of time and then to be dishonest about the reason for doing so is inexcusible and shows Obama's true character.

Posted by: Jason | June 20, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

P.S. to Juan -- it was February 2007, not 2008.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Jon, I never said no government was a good idea. I believe less government is a good idea especially at the federal level. I believe I will make much better choices than the government when it comes to spending my money. If you think federalized health care is a good idea then you are in for a surprise. Free markets will ALWAYS give you better service.

Posted by: Jason | June 20, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Oh, please. Get over it, GOPers. If McCain thought he could raise a fraction of what Obama has done, and likely will do before the general, he'd opt-out in a heartbeat as well. Why settle for $84 million, which will keep you competative only in states you already expect to win but won't expand the electoral map at all, when the prospect of $250 million is out there? This move may seem bad to some, but it's really pragmatic. Moreover, it's done, and no matter how much you all whine about it, its probably a very smart move for Obama and will pay off dividents in the general.

Posted by: alterego1 | June 20, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Ego Nemo:

Perhaps that is because John Sidney McCain has already agreed to accept public financing funds for the general election (although he has every right to decline those funds now that Barack Hussein Obama went back on his word). No wonder he declined 10 town hall meetings. Obama is a sham.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

This is a bogus and ignorant analysis. Obama never unconditionally agreed to anything. McCain is the one who has lied and gamed the system and even arguably broken the law, and is clearly trying to have it both ways.

Did Perry Bacon write this? It's shallow enough that it might be his work.

Posted by: Egilsson | June 20, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like your real complaint is with the form. Probably should have give Obama three choices -- yes, no, explain below. To question the explanation of his yes answer seems very thin. I think your analysis gets three or four noses for pettiness. Maybe one more for failing to point out McCain's own vulnerability on this issue (opting in and out of the primary system after using the promise of matching funds to get a loan that allowed his campaign to continue while maintaining the posture of a campaign finance reformer).

Posted by: steve | June 20, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

alterego1:

I am actually registered Independent, so I believe honoring your word is more important than what is politically expedient. BTW: would you be praising McCain as "very smart" for breaking his word?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Go golf, JakeD...you've done your daily sucking up to whoever writes a bad thing about Obama. Try not to trip over yourself in your feigned outrage.

Posted by: 2008 | June 20, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Egilsson:

Obama, at the very least, pledged to "aggressively pursue" an agreement. Do you think he kept that pledge?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

We've heard a lot of back and forth on this issue, the issue of Obama flip flopping, etc, but the real question is: "Why does this issue get more coverage than all of McCains alternating views over the past 8 years"?

Heck, I'd say just give equal coverage to McCain and Obama when they change position and you'll see that McCain has changed position more this year than all candidates that ran for POTUS this year...COMBINED!!!

Posted by: Larrien | June 20, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

2008:

I've got a tee time reserved for tomorrow : )

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

So, Jason, how do you feel about McCain changing his stance on public financing, which he flip-flopped on throughout the primary campaign? On off-shore drilling? The Bush tax cuts? Torture? How about McCain's involvement in the Keating Five scandal? His wife's theft from charity and her subsequent skating on that theft? If you're worried about a change in policy reflecting character, I hope you're not supporting John McCain. He flips and flops more often than a fish out of water.

Posted by: Jayne | June 20, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Larrien:

Please see "Featured Item" and all the other McCain threads in the Archive.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse


Four (and in my scale FIVE) Pinocchios for Michael Dobbs running a sham/joke of a "Fact Checker."

HRC & most recently McCain have lied or flipped flopped on issues throughout each of their campaigns and yet the "Oracle" Dobbs seems to overlook this or gives a paltry (one or 2 usually) number of Pinocchios for their mistruths.

Posted by: AzynAm247 | June 20, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Jayne:

Two wrongs don't make a right. I won't vote for McCain either.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Jason,

Its still taxpayers' money! It doesn't matter how you massage, filter it or checkbox it. That money provided by taxpayers that would have gone to Senator Obama's campaign will now go to something else...he does not need the money. Is this the only thing Bush and Cheney's trained chimps have to complain about?

Pretty thin stuff! Good luck McBush supports, you'll need it in November. May the best American win!

TGIF

Posted by: Donny | June 20, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

McCain Breaking the Law in Plain Sight


"I mentioned earlier today that it was quite a thing to see John McCain denouncing Barack Obama for breaking his word on public financing when McCain himself is at this moment breaking the law in continuing to spend over the spending limits he promised to abide by through the primary season in exchange for public financing. (By the FEC's rules, we're still in the primary phase of the election and will be until the conventions.)

I want to return to this subject though because this is not hyperbole or some throw away line. He's really doing it. McCain opting into public financing, accepted the spending limits and then profited from that opt-in by securing a campaign saving loan. And then he used some clever, but not clever enough lawyering, to opt back out. And the person charged with saying what flies and what doesn't -- the Republican head of the FEC -- said he's not allowed to do that. He can't opt out unilaterally unless the FEC says he can.

The most generous interpretation of what happened is that McCain's lawyer came up with an ingenious legal two step that allowed him to double dip in the campaign finance system, eat his cake and spend it too. But even if you buy that line, successful gaming of the system doesn't really count as strict adherence. And the point is irrelevant since the head of the FEC -- a Republican -- says McCain cannot do this on his own"

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/200902.php

Posted by: FJSchmitz | June 20, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

AzynAm247:

At least you can admit Obama's "mistruth". Please try convincing the rest above.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

i agree with BO choice to fund his own campaign however; he is subjected to being called a flip flopper.......it would not be so bad except that it was not so long ago he and his camp critisized HC for being dishonest. my guess is he is no better than Hil......

Posted by: Jay | June 20, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

FJ:

And, the prior head of the FEC, Michael Toner (also a Republican) opined it was not a violation. Maybe once the FEC gets a quorum, and McCain is sworn in as President, we'll find out what the fine will be if any ...

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

No harm, no foul? People change? This decision speaks very poorly of Obama. Imagine, two opponents agree to a duel, and agree to use sabres and forgo firearms. Dueling day arrives, Obama pulls out a .45 and blows his opponent away. Hey, situations change, I'm sure Obama would claim he had to do it because his opponent maybe was going to do the same thing.

Nobama.

Posted by: RH | June 20, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

While I applaud Senator Obama's decision from a fiscal standpoint...he does not need the money, so why should he take it. Kinda like a multi-millionaire drawing social security.

Senator Obama's campaign makes smart moves and intends to win the Presidency thus ending eight years of Bush/Cheney/McBush. The bottom line is that:

* it was Obama's decision;
* it was no on elses;
* no one is harmed by this;
* public funds will be saved as a result;
* this was a smart political move;
* America is not used to "smart" anymore;
* we should get used to "smart" again.

Well done, Senator Obama.

Posted by: Donny | June 20, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

2008:

I've got a tee time reserved for tomorrow : )

Posted by: JakeD
************************

Good for you, Arnold Palmer. It is amazing how someone with no interest in voting for either candidate and claims an independent status feels the pathological need to insert his opinions so frequently. If you are not voting, then frankly your opinions are not worth a bucket of spit. If you have a third party candidate in mind worthy of your vote, let's hear about it.

Frankly I think you are GOP troll combing the papers to find something negative about Senator Obama to stir s**t up.

Posted by: 2008 | June 20, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

CR:

He has broken earlier pledges too, such as "I will not run for President".

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

JakeD, I challenge you to find me a quote where Obama definitely stated he would not run for president ever.

Posted by: Jayne | June 20, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

2008:

I have voted for President every 4 years since Truman. Unless McCain can put California in play, I will be voting for Chuck Baldwin.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The purpose of public financing is to get the special interest PACs out of the campaign, and out of politics in general. The rich and powerful have dominated Washington for decades. Now, the Obama campaign has revolutionized politics by financing the majority of its campaign through small-donor contributions. Obama has gone one better than public financing. The millions of small donations he's received represent the democratic process at its finest - Obama's message is getting through to the grassroots and we're responding. Nobody, including the Obama campaign, expected this to be so successful, completely changing the equation on public financing.

McCain, on the other hand, manipulated the public finance system during the primaries, using the funding as collateral for a large loan, then opting out of public financing when there were not enough members of the FEC to enforce the rules he had broken. McCain will, of course, claim that he has taken the high road.

Posted by: barbara | June 20, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

527s change everything. It is clear that (1) McCain has no intent on applying pressure and control to limit their dirty ads - remember what they did to Harold Ford - so therefore there is unlimited money and unknowable outcomes from them - and (2) the campaign financing does not permit the campaign to go after 50 states - why not have a 50-state campaign - and (3) we know more now after and incredibly expensive primary - where campaigning in all states was to the nation's benefit. If a campaign can't use the TV/cable media - there will be millions who only get the news "reporting" of who the candidates are (gosh forbid as I imagine many viewers only watch one network for news!!!!!!!!!!!!) and for Fox viewers - they will definitely get skewed views. And the same goes for other specific news columnists on CNN and MSNBC.

Posted by: Denver Colorado | June 20, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

RH:

Your little scenario left out a few details...

What about McCain's little army hiding in the trees with bow-and-arrows?

McCain said he would stop them from firing (to run a respectful campaign), but before the duel could even start he just sat by and let them fire away...

Obama is right to forgo public financing...

The PUBLIC is already financing his campaign!

McCain (via his actions or lack therefore) has shown he had no real intention of curbing 527's

If McCain is unwilling to do that, there's no reason to "aggressively pursue an agreement"

Period.

Posted by: Yep | June 20, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama is a brilliant politician. Yes, he will change his mind in order to do what's expedient to win the campaign. Yes, he will try to say things that will attract more votes for him to win. Yes, he will call for idealism and taking the 'high road,' while at the same time undermining his opponents with 'low blows'--emotionally loaded quips that denigrate his opponents while misrepresenting their positions.

I'm not concerned whether he can 'play dirty enough to win'. What concerns me is what will he actually do when he wins the election, if he does win. From his record in the U.S. Senate, it is not clear what his priorities are: he voted for tax breaks for the big oil companies, he voted against capping interest rates the big credit card companies are allowed to charge American families, and he also often voted for pro-family legislation, I'm sure. Examinations of his record in the Illinois State Senate show that he missed a critical vote to ban (assault weapons, I believe) because he was on vacation in Hawaii, even though he had been a leader in preparing the legislation. When called by Senate leaders to come back to help with the vote (it failed), he said his daughter was sick and he could not make it. He may not have the strength of commitment needed to be consistently working for American families and workers' interests.

Posted by: Shirley Freeman | June 20, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If Obama had the ability to raise hundreds of millions, which he will need to fight the smear campaign against him, and decided instead to take on 84 mill, I would not vote him based on stupidity.

To all of you who are slamming him for being a "liar", please be honest and say that you're for McCain anyway and would never have voted for Obama in the first place.

If you look at it logically, you'd see this is what he must do. Things change with time. He was almost unknown when he first pledged to take public financing. Today is is a fund-raising machine. What is more important and true, is that the public fundraising mechanism is broken.

All of you who say you won't vote for him because of this let me pose the following: if he had eschewed his hundreds of millions and taken the 84, would you vote for him then?

That's what I thought. You are just looking for arguments that promote your already-conceived notion of the way things should be. This is just another way for you to do that.

Posted by: Liz | June 20, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I can't ever recall seeing a truly OBJECTIVE fact checker for McSame. Obama said he'd participate if there was an agreement between the nominees. If the Federal Election Commission was fully seated, McCain would be facing fines and possible JAIL time. He used the public finance system as collateral for a loan when he was broke and couldn't pay his staff (where was the beer heiress). He's now tried to back out of the system he manipulated. He's spent primary money on the general election and other things that violate the FEC bylaws. Obama broke no laws by changing his position.

Posted by: isupreme | June 20, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Liz:

Wouldn't you be "slamming" McCain if HE was the one to go back on his pledge?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Let me copy for you the very smart posting by Barbara:

"The purpose of public financing is to get the special interest PACs out of the campaign, and out of politics in general. The rich and powerful have dominated Washington for decades. Now, the Obama campaign has revolutionized politics by financing the majority of its campaign through small-donor contributions. Obama has gone one better than public financing. The millions of small donations he's received represent the democratic process at its finest - Obama's message is getting through to the grassroots and we're responding. Nobody, including the Obama campaign, expected this to be so successful, completely changing the equation on public financing.

McCain, on the other hand, manipulated the public finance system during the primaries, using the funding as collateral for a large loan, then opting out of public financing when there were not enough members of the FEC to enforce the rules he had broken. McCain will, of course, claim that he has taken the high road.

...and also Lynn's comments earlier:

"So why is there no mention of McCain opting out of the primary public financing system when he tried to use it to get on the ballot and get loan financing based on his acceptance of it. Now he has taken himself out of it without getting the FEC permission to do so... so he is breaking the law. Why doesn't fact checker check on this? McCain is being hypocritical to criticize Obama when McCain did a flip flop on public financing himself."

This sums it up for me.

Posted by: Liz | June 20, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

iSupreme:

The FEC does not hand out jail time. See my post, above, re: Toner's opinion.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

So if 527's change everything, were 527's just recently invented? They were not relevant when Obama highlighted "YES" he would stick with public funding, and furthermore, would aggressively work on improving public financing? And there are no Democrat 527's?

Obama is an excuse-maker. Weak. Instead of announcing his decision like a man, "I opt for this because I'm getting lots of individual contributions and they help me more than public financing", he weasels his way with "It's their fault I had to do it."

Posted by: RH | June 20, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Your "fact checking" on this issues is total BS and you know it.

Posted by: Dan | June 20, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

No, Jake D, I wouldn't. And I wouldn't because I tend to look at all of the facts, not just ones with which I already agree. And when I look at all the facts, I agree with the position Obama has taken. I sometimes agree with McCain, too. But, as I've said to you before, I think that given everything we know, Obama is the best person to lead us forward. I know he isn't perfect. But I'm not looking for perfection. I'm looking for the person who has the intelligence and the judgment and the ability to hear all sides before making decisions.

I would have had a lot more respect for McCain if he had said what is so obviously the truth, which is that if he had found himself in the same situation, he'd have done the same.

Posted by: Liz | June 20, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

You didn't refute anything JakeD. McSame subverted ethics and finance laws knowing the FEC won't be seated by Bush to ever do anything to him. Did Obama break a law? McSame did.

Posted by: isupreme | June 20, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Liz:

If McCain sticks with public financing, I believe your assumption is less than "obvious". Nonetheless, I am looking for the person who has not lied.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

This "lie" is predicated on making some assumptions. For example, it assumes that no private back channel discussions were held between the candidates (or even directly between the candidates themselves). Perhaps the 40 minutes of meetings were enough to establish that no agreement could be reached. "Aggressively pursue" does not require that lots of time be spent. It would be equally "aggressive", for example, to go to the McCain campaign and say "We can raise lots of money if we privately finance. But we are willing to engage in public finance if you control the RNC and the 527's. What is the minimum level of control that you will agree to in exchange for our taking public funding". If the McCain answer were so far from the Obama minimum, then it was reasonable not to waste anymore time.

Once again the "Fact Checker" (shouldn't we call this the "Obama Fact Checker" since the questionable statements of others are not "checked") have made a decision based on a surmise as to facts of which he was not actually aware.

Posted by: Assumptions | June 20, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

iSupreme:

I at least "refuted" the notion that the FEC hands out jail time : )

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

JakeD stated:

I at least "refuted" the notion that the FEC hands out jail time : )

My Comment:

Another "technically correct" statement. Yes, the FEC does not hand out jail time. NO Federal Agency hands out jail time. Jail can only properly be ordered by a Court pursuant to law. Conduct before the FEC CAN result in Jail time.
If we are giving Obama three noses for the finance claim, you have just earned four.

Posted by: Only the Courts | June 20, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Assumptions:

So, if the Obama campaign contacted the McCain campaign and asked them to control the sun rising in the East, that would be reasonable and "good faith" negotiations as well?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

To those who say this is no big deal, situations change:

Will you be praising Obama after his election if he:

Doesn't attempt to get us out of Iraq,

Doesn't attempt to get universal or even near-universal health care,

Doesn't work across the aisle in a non-partisan way,

Doesn't reduce tensions in the world and doesn't meet with with our enemies,

Doesn't bring a new style of politics to America?

I'm sure that if the going got rough on any of the above, Obama would find a way to redefine his position while at the same time assigning blame to someone else for forcing him to change direction. Obama is great at announcing grand things with a flourish, then backing down, then backing out, and putting the blame on someone. It's getting repetitious.

Posted by: RH | June 20, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

To all those who think 12 months is 'long ago', given four years in office, how many long agos does that make? How many decisions can you recant? How many flip-flops can you make?

If you publicly push for a higher standard, you don't get to complain about being held to it.

Still voting for Hil' in November... like it or not.

Posted by: John | June 20, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Only the Courts:

Don't forget military tribunals. I am also curious how "technically correct" could ever result in FOUR Pinocchios. According to Dobbs's published criteria, one Pinocchio at worse.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

JakeD, we agree??!! WOW!!
Straight Talk broke the LAW!!!

PS
Looked for your post about the jail time.. Couldn't find it. With no Commission, its a moot point anyway.

Posted by: isupreme | June 20, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Jake D wrote:

So, if the Obama campaign contacted the McCain campaign and asked them to control the sun rising in the East, that would be reasonable and "good faith" negotiations as well?

My Comment:

Of course not. But you are "assuming" that this is what happened. You can't say that someone is lying by making an assumption that something happened for which there is no proof. The key is that the Fact Checker stated as "fact" that an agreement was not "aggressively pursued" in the absence of fact. I am not advocating for a check mark of "proof", simply arguing that a finding of a lie is without merit. This is an "unproven" statement, not a lie.

Posted by: Assumptions | June 20, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Jake D:

Don't forget military tribunals. I am also curious how "technically correct" could ever result in FOUR Pinocchios. According to Dobbs's published criteria, one Pinocchio at worse.

My Comment:
A military tribunal is a court and sends people to jail pursuant to law. The reason you get four is that it appears that the "new" or "de facto" standard is three for an unproven statement, so a clear "technical" lie gets one more. Thus four.

Posted by: Four Pinocchios | June 20, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

This was his COMPLETE answer to tht QUESTIONAIRE...NOT A PLEDGE...(caps to emphasise this was not a pledge or a promise)

From the Midwest Democracy Network..
Question 1-B

OBAMA: Yes. I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns
combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of
moneyed special interests. I introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State
Senate, and am the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold's (DWI)
bill to reform the presidential public financing system. In February 2007, I proposed
a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election.
My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return
excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general
election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they
would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election.
The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (r-
AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic
nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to
preserve a publicly financed general election.....................

Now it says McCain pledged..but he did not pledge on paper..and neither did Obama..
This was a questionaire...not a PLEDGE document..
You can read the entire PDF file and all of the Q&A There are responses from Edwards and Obama..No other candidates are listed
http://www.commoncause.org/atf/cf/%7Bfb3c17e2-cdd1-4df6-92be-bd4429893665%7D/MDNNATIONALRELEASE.PDF

I hope insted of screaming at Obama..those will also read how McCain has NOT stood by his word..

Posted by: Goddesscon2001 | June 20, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The Fact Checker has not claimed Obama "lied".

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Military tribunal is a "Federal Agency" within the Executive branch, not a technical court within the Judicial branch. See, Constitution, United States.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

What is most offensive and an insult to everyone's intelligence is this attempt to redefine the phrase "public financing" so it also means "private financing."

How Orwellian. Hey, ignorance is knowledge too!

Posted by: Michael | June 20, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Dear Fact Checker,

Is it true that John McCain ALSO broke the campaign finance laws?

That's something I'd be very interested in knowing too.

Posted by: revskg | June 20, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

RH wrote:
Imagine, two opponents agree to a duel, and agree to use sabres and forgo firearms. Dueling day arrives, Obama pulls out a .45 and blows his opponent away. Hey, situations change, I'm sure Obama would claim he had to do it because his opponent maybe was going to do the same thing.

My Comment:
Do you mean like agreeing with the other candidates that you would withdraw your name from the ballot in a particular state and not campaign in another and that the votes would not count. And then one candidate doesn't do it and claims that the votes should count (and in fact, the votes do end up counting....)

As you may recall at THAT time the Jake D's of the world were arguing that Obama made a bad choice and thus "had to live with it". Perhaps Obama learned that an "agreement" without teeth in it, in the land of politics, is not an agreement. Let's assume for a minute that McCain said that the most that he could do would be to "control" the 527's and the RNC. And Obama agreed to public finance. And because of the absence of any "teeth" in the agreement, the "Swift Boat 527's" and the RNC went to work on Obama. At that point he's screwed (and he can't waste his money complaining about it. That's one of the "wonders" of the Smart Boat technique. If you leave it alone, you "accept" the lie. If you fight it you spend (in the case of a public finance campaign) a portion of your very limited resources on PR that will, at best, limit damage due to a lie.

Posted by: Forked Toungue | June 20, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

All you holier than thou Republicans or fake Democrats who get all their news from the Washington Post apparently don't know of John McCain's more egregious violation of campaign finance laws.

Though I disagree with Obama's decision to back out of public finance, at least he did not break the law in plain sight, like John McCain:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/200902.php

According to Josh Marshall:

"I mentioned earlier today that it was quite a thing to see John McCain denouncing Barack Obama for breaking his word on public financing when McCain himself is at this moment breaking the law in continuing to spend over the spending limits he promised to abide by through the primary season in exchange for public financing. (By the FEC's rules, we're still in the primary phase of the election and will be until the conventions.)

I want to return to this subject though because this is not hyperbole or some throw away line. He's really doing it. McCain opting into public financing, accepted the spending limits and then profited from that opt-in by securing a campaign saving loan. And then he used some clever, but not clever enough lawyering, to opt back out. And the person charged with saying what flies and what doesn't -- the Republican head of the FEC -- said he's not allowed to do that. He can't opt out unilaterally unless the FEC says he can.

The most generous interpretation of what happened is that McCain's lawyer came up with an ingenious legal two step that allowed him to double dip in the campaign finance system, eat his cake and spend it too. But even if you buy that line, successful gaming of the system doesn't really count as strict adherence. And the point is irrelevant since the head of the FEC -- a Republican -- says McCain cannot do this on his own.

Like everything that has to do with campaign finance, the details are a little ... well, detailed. But they're worth understanding. Last February in this episode of TPMtv, we explained just how McCain cheated the campaign finance laws ..."

Posted by: puhleeze | June 20, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The next fact-checker should focus on how John McCain has ALREADY flouted campaign finance laws. Why does McCain get a free ride? Why don't Republicans care about these issues when it applies to their own candidates?

Oh wait, this is Fred Hiatt's Washington Post.

Posted by: Ms. Molly | June 20, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote:

The Fact Checker has not claimed Obama "lied".

My Comment:
Sure he has. It is an inherent part of the awarding of "three pinocchios". The standard is "Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions". Implicit in this, in this case, is the telling of a lie since no "factual" error is being alleged.

Posted by: A Rose is a Rose | June 20, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

How is "I will not run for President" a pledge? You people are ridiculous.

Posted by: Ms. Molly | June 20, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Obama may have done us one of the best services we could imagine. He may have by himself reformed the fund raising system that has not worked for years. What he has done, like it or not, will create a model that will be used from now on. Times and technology change fast and Obama is on the cutting edge. Mccain should have recognized it from the beginning and put together a team to copy what Obama was doing instead of crying about it. This kind of forward think is exactly why we need someone like Obama in the white house and not a guy who admittedly can't even turn on a computer. At the time Obama talked about accepting money they had not even attempted their fund raising method. Mccain instead of attending 90 fund raisers this month could have been out talking to the American people about his issues instead of hiding behind closed doors begging money. There in lies the problem, Mccain is a candidate who is out of date and out of touch and wants a handicap now for his own ineptness. Obama was not lying because at the time he said it he meant it. But times have changed and the one now should be changing his mind should be Mccain. Mccain should see what a great thing Obama has done and copy it. There is lies another problem though. Mccains lack of ability to be innovative, he has none. His only hope is to try hamstring his opponent rather then run a good smart and campaign himself. This kind of stuff even more so tells me we don't want an antique like John Mccain in the white house.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, Barack initially thought that he could get more money via pubic financing than he would from donations. When it became obvious that was not the case, he changed his mind. That does not make him a liar.

Clearly, McBush cannot raise nearly as much money as Barack, so he complains about Obama's change of position. Get over it.

Posted by: Michael | June 20, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"Significant factual error" is that Obama "aggressively pursue[d]" an agreement on public financing.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

let's see...
obama promised to participate in the public financing system, if certain terms and conditions were met.
he gave his word to do that.
he attempted to negotioate with mccain concerning those terms and conditions, as acknowledged by all parties concerned.
accordidng to mccain, he did not "aggressively" pursue those particular terms and conditions, as he had indicated he would do, as evidenced by the time spent in negotiations.
somehow, someway, this failure to adequately "aggressively" pursue these negotiations qualifies as some sort of lie or untruth.
to come to that conclusion requires that one make a determination about the seriousness of BOTH SIDES as they participated in these truncated negotiations.
the post's supposed fact checker conveniently neglects to do this, concentrating solely on obama's acts of omission and commission.
pointedly, the post's fact checker neglects to address mccain's refusal to do ANYTHING to reign in malicious 527 groups working on his behalf. mccain's statement that he essentially had no control or influence over those groups is an essential element in any discussion of the "facts" of this problem.
again, this essential fact is mysteriously omitted from any discussion here.
in the meantime, mccain arguably continues to VIOLATE THE LAW on public financing spending limits during the primary season and to the best of my knowledge, the supposed fact checker has not written A SINGLE WORD ABOUT THIS POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF THE LAW!
does anyone need to know any more about the real intent of this writer's work?

Posted by: frankie d | June 20, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

In Obama's recent released statement, at least, he acknowledged that he is not against public financing; however, he did give his reasoning for choosing to be supported by The People through this process. So what?

WaPo writer, do not be jealous that the Repub team hasn't attracted such a roots network, and inspired people to do the same. Call it what you will, but I find that ultimately, Obama has done no harm. McCain is just ticked, that's all. There is nothing wrong here.

Posted by: Obama2008 | June 20, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Ms Molly:

Are you serious.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

JakeD:

Stop flailing wildly buddy, looks girly... It took an "agressive 40 minutes" to understand that McSame was full of it.

Posted by: isupreme | June 20, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see the Venn diagram last night on the Colbert Report?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse


JakeD,

No doubt Obama has flipped flopped or changed his positions...more recently changes in NAFTA, troop withdrawal from Iraq and campaign financing. Those are all errors on his part and he'll have to deal with them.

I just want policies, errors and flip-flops from BOTH candidates to be ACCURATELY investigated, analyzed and scrutinized with equal zeal, vigor and effort by all media outlets and for it to be lopsided in terms of presentation.

McCain has been given a big-time pass so far by the press on his gaffes, hypocrisy and flip-flopping of issues. I imagine this will continue throughout the election.

Michael Dobbs pawning this blog as a true "Fact Checker" is ridiculous and skewed..mostly like due to his own political leanings and/or personal bias. He's not the "independent" arbiter that he says or beleives he is.

Posted by: AzynAm247 | June 20, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Is changing your mind and explaining it a lie? Is adapting to change and accepting those changes a lie? Is recognizing that change is necessary a lie? No, It is the only way to efficiently function. You never say never because you don't know what is around the corner. I would hope a candidate would have the brains to recognize the right way to go. Let Mccain stumble around in circles and let him do his town hall meetings to 200 people and let him have to beg for money from big donors spending more time fund raising then campaigning. The more I see Obama the more I love this guy and the more I see Mccain the more I see everything I want to get away from. If Mccain was a corporation he would be driven out of business by innovation. He just doesn't get it. that's fine for his campaign and his own personal life for that matter, but not running our country. We don't need someone who proves over and over and over again they just can't lead us in a new progressive direction. We can't keep listening to fools and that is what Mccain is, nothing but an old antiquated fool. Mccain won't lead us forward, he will drag us backwards.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse


Anyone can change their minds, either candidate should say so and give their reasons behind the change, then the lazy media won't harp on the issue over and over again and blow things out of proportion.

And of course, the candidates have to give their responses in the most simplest of ways and simplest of vocabulary. Otherwise, the obtuse and neanderthal voters out there won't comprehend it...e.g. the Humanoids as Bobby "the Brain" Heenan of WWF/E would put it. Hahaha.


But news is entertainment now, so whatever is good for the ratings or subscription is wherever the dumb and lazy flock of cattle will do.

Posted by: AzynAm247 | June 20, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

You mean "backwards" like when marriage was one man and one woman or when abortion was illegal?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I like what one poster said about if Mccain was a company he would be driven out of business.
Mccain is probably like the last guy who was manufacturing typewriters still thinking these new fangled computers are just a fad. "They will never be able to make a computer anyone can afford" he will be telling his employes. "You don't want to buy that Microsoft stock, keep your retirement money in my company" "We have a whole new line of typewriters coming out next year that will set the typewriter industry on it's ear".

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Sorry but he needs to recheck his fact checker again!!! Mccain didnt commit to public fiancing until late yesterday.... in addition washington post needs to watch keith olbermann sometimes... he laid it out last night in detail with previous "quotes" and the whole questionaire were obama gave a more indept explanation on his stance on public fiancing. Bottomline if mccain could even raise as much money as obama could mccain would back out of public fiancing himself. In conclusion mccain is hating!! LOL

Posted by: ronda | June 20, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse


McCain sure looked ghoulish when he spoke in New Orleans two weeks ago after the final Democratic primary results were just about it.

The forced smiles on his face was hilarious during his speech...e.g. Insert SMILE here...

Posted by: AzynAm247 | June 20, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

More like you and I would be exchanging letters today instead of instantly communicating from all over the world. This is a time when things are moving so fast this little thing with the putting up a website and raising a few bucks should have been a given for every candidate. Heck, TV preachers have been doing it for years. Mccain wants to go back to standing on a corner with a tin cup I guess saying "I am running for president , can you give me some change"? This campaign has been an insight into the candidates more then any time in history. In all my voting years I have never been more certain then I am this year who to vote for and I don't think i am alone.

++++++++++
You mean "backwards" like when marriage was one man and one woman or when abortion was illegal?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 11:54 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

ronda:

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

This is so funny; watching all the haters throw temper tantrums every time Obama breaths incorrectly. This GE is going to be worse than the a$$ whoopin' the C's handed to the Lakers. McCain is a squirel in the road, and Obama is barrelling down that road in an 18 wheeler with no brakes. The GOP knows this. They probably just threw McCain out there as a sacrifice, sorta like Alan Keys in Illinoise during the senate race. The a$$ beating you can see coming a mile away.

Posted by: WallyWutMD | June 20, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Yea it was like is was written on a script, "Now you smile". He is truly a scary guy, I have no idea what he is thinking most of the time, I just down right don't trust him. I think he is weak maybe even a little stupid. This guy is not presidential timber, far from it. I can't get past his having graduated next last in his class something like 896 out on 899. His entire life is totally unremarkable both before and after he was in the war.

+++++++
McCain sure looked ghoulish when he spoke in New Orleans two weeks ago after the final Democratic primary results were just about it.

The forced smiles on his face was hilarious during his speech...e.g. Insert SMILE here...

Posted by: AzynAm247 | June 20, 2008 12:07 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse


I'm afraid/concerned though that ghoulish McCain could win the GE. It would set the country back 40 years. Obama needs to pick up some swing states.

Posted by: AzynAm247 | June 20, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Fear motivates, there is nothing to be afraid of. Get out there and work for your candidate. Mccain is going to find all he is doing with his type of negative campaigning is awaking a giant in the form of the American people. Every attack is a call to rededicate yourself to your goals. Attacks don't break people down, it galvanizes them.

+++++++++++
I'm afraid/concerned though that ghoulish McCain could win the GE. It would set the country back 40 years. Obama needs to pick up some swing states.

Posted by: AzynAm247 | June 20, 2008 12:30 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I think that 3 Pinocchios is fair. Obama has not kept his word about staying within the public financing system. But, in the end, who cares? Elections are all about fighting the war the best that you can, and using every tool within your arsenal to make sure you come out the winner. Since there will be a lot more Democrats out there voting this year, there's no reason why Obama should be hamstrung by John McCain's lousy appeal to the general public. Republicans don't have any qualms about using every dirty trick up their sleeve. Why should Democrats worry about changing their mind on the public financing issue, when we all know that it's money, money and more money that wins elections? No, two wrongs don't make a right. But, then again, 4 or 8 more years of bad Republican leadership don't make a right, either.

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least we can agree on the "Two wrongs don't make a right" part ; )

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

There was a time people fought duels over politics. Political conventions turned into riots. It is not for the faint of heart for sure. This new kind of "whining all the time" and tattle tail politics can be sickening. I don't care what they say about each other. People aren't swayed by stuff like we often read here. People make up their minds and it doesn't turn on a rumor of innuendo. In the end you can't fool people. Even with George Bush, people were not necessarily fooled, had it not been for 9/11 he may have been a great president who knows. Unfortunately history put him in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think with the new modern age and challenges facing us Mccain is the wrong person for this time. In fact maybe as bad as you could get. I remember him saying a few weeks ago he thinks we should go to Mars attempting to sound progressive and forward thinking. I wish someone would have just yelled out, "Why". I doubt he would have had an answer. He was just saying it because it sounded good, at least to him.

+++++++++++
I think that 3 Pinocchios is fair. Obama has not kept his word about staying within the public financing system. But, in the end, who cares? Elections are all about fighting the war the best that you can, and using every tool within your arsenal to make sure you come out the winner. Since there will be a lot more Democrats out there voting this year, there's no reason why Obama should be hamstrung by John McCain's lousy appeal to the general public. Republicans don't have any qualms about using every dirty trick up their sleeve. Why should Democrats worry about changing their mind on the public financing issue, when we all know that it's money, money and more money that wins elections? No, two wrongs don't make a right. But, then again, 4 or 8 more years of bad Republican leadership don't make a right, either.

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 12:53 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

As of McCain's "type of negative campaigning" since when is pointing out the truth "negative"?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah...he changed his mind. Unlike Bush who refuses to alter his opinion despite a plethora of evidence to the contrary. Some might call that good judgement. I'm almost 50 and had never before contributed to a presidential campaign. I am now proud to be one of those "Obamabots" who's small contributions have and will continue to have an impact on the outcome of this election. Bye bye George and Dick. God and history will be your judge.

Posted by: JimBo | June 20, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I read what you write and I have to ask you. Do you really like Mccain and honestly he is thew perfect guy in this time and place?
Or are you just a loyal republican willing to follow them over a cliff? I find it hard to believe any thinking person can think Mccain is the guy we need., I am sorry.

+++++++++++++
As of McCain's "type of negative campaigning" since when is pointing out the truth "negative"?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 1:14 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't "like" McCain, nor am I asking for "perfect". Just don't lie. For the record, if the election were held today, I would vote for Chuck Baldwin.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Dobbs = Partisan Hack

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

When Dobbs gives McCain three Pinocchos, he's a "partisan hack" too? I mean, get real. Or, at least, get a user name.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

JakeD -- as usual, you overstate the case of what Obama said about running. Does the truth ever matter to you?

Posted by: Jayne | June 20, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Time to reveal the real faces and true colors of both candidates. Let the game begin.

Posted by: Susie | June 20, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Please prove that I overstated the case.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Hmph... McCain already got himself into hot water with the public financing system due to his loan in the Primary. So, he announced he was going to use public financing yesterday afternoon - after Obama made his decision, clearly in an attempt to show contrast between them and to game the system. McCain has been the presumptive nominee for months now and has been using private funding, but now that he is being investigated for FEC violations he flip flopped back to public money. He realized that he cannot get the private backing he hoped for (only 10% of Bush's donors are donating to McCain), he has to rely on the big money advantage of the RNC, which is full of Lobbyists, Corporations, etc. Whereas, Barack Obama is is going to rely on the 2 million people who ensured his nomination by donating less than $100 - now that's public financing!

We should not be demonizing Barack's finance reform revolution! We the People of this great nation have found out through this campaign that we can have as much if not more impact than big corporations by banding together and giving small donations to make sure that our voices are heard. He does not take PAC or Lobbyist money and neither does the DNC now - but the RNC has no qualms towing the line for big money. Campaign fund raising will never be the same. I am so proud to be involved in this new kind of governing!

Posted by: Tane | June 20, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

And then prove that I "usually" overstate my cases (usually, I am simply asking honest questions).

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Tane:

Private financing = public financing?!

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

That sounds really close to "Depends on what the definition of 'is' is".

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Less then 1 in 10 check the box

+++++++++
Tane:

Private financing = public financing?!

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:20 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I was never good at fuzzy math, but doesn't 2 million people donating less than $100 each = less than $200 million? Where did Barack Hussein Obama get all the rest of his money?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse


Interesting:
Republicans have hammered Michelle Obama for her remarks in February that she was proud of America "for the first time in my adult life." Tonight, however, Dan Abrams showed footage he uncovered of a Fox News interview with John McCain on March 13, 2008, in which McCain said, "I didn't really love America until I was deprived of her company."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Amazing. What a hypocrite.

So much for C-H-A-N-G-E.

So Obama, with three years of government experience, is already doing things like this?

How can we elect a man with no experience and no record of leadership!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You people are unbelievable!

Posted by: Independent | June 20, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"1 in 10" = more than 30 million Americans. That is certainly more "public" than TWO million. Regardless, I'm using the FEC definitions.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Uncovered of a Fox News interview with John McCain on March 13, 2008, in which McCain said, "I didn't really love America until I was deprived of her company."

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 2:30 PM

And he talking about when he was in a POW CAMP you idiot!!!!

Nice try. Check your facts.

Posted by: Independent | June 20, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

McCain flip flopped also about campaign money, but the only difference here is the fact that no one would give a damn if Obama changed his mind and he has the right to do so, he has broken in laws, but McCain can't raise money and hasn't been able to raise that much since he got in the race from the beginning, so now this jackass antique want to be a cry baby. Tell McCain, he doesn't have room to critisize anyone, and tell him to payback the money he owes for riding on his $100,000,000 dollar's wife that he cheated with the money for riding on her plain. What a hypercrit McCain is. Let his supporter do what Obama supporters are doing, sending in small amounts of money,for all his supporter so he can't be bought.

Posted by: Sheila | June 20, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Independent:

I just hope there's no race rioting when John Sidney McCain is elected President of the United States.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the Fact Checker was MIA when John McCain signed up for public financing of his primary bid ... took out a loan based on that funding ... then reneged. If the FEC had a quorum (which W certainly won't let happen before November now) he'd be subject not just to campaign rhetoric but fines and sanctions. But the Fact Checker must have been busy when that running of the "straight talk express" took place.

Posted by: omyobama | June 20, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Sheila:

Were you similarly critical of John Kerry's wife?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

McCain can say he will take the public financing with $25+ million of RNC money behind him. If Obama would take public financing he would $3.5+ million of DNC money behind him. I wonder how long it took Obama to make a decision. WWKRD?

If McCain doesn't like it he should take Obama to court (he can't) for breach of contract (there isn't any).

Posted by: thomas | June 20, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Independent wrote: "And he [sic] talking about when he was in a POW CAMP you idiot!!!!"

What difference does that make? Whether someone is twisting McCain's words to make it seem as though it took his imprisonment in a POW camp to make him truly love his country, or twisting Michelle Obama's words to make it seem as though it took her husband winning the Democratic nomination to make her truly proud of her country, it's all about twisting someone's words to make him/her look bad. There isn't validity in either effort. I don't doubt for even a nanosecond that both John McCain and Michelle Obama both love their country and are tremendously proud of America. These petty tactics of trying to gain votes by making the other person seem un-American will not play well in Peoria, or just about any other part of this country. So both sides should get over it, and move onto something that doesn't make them both look asinine.

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

YOU GUYS ARE BIAS. THROUGHOUT THE PAST 3 WEEKS MCCAIN HAS MADE SEVERAL MISTAKES,GAFFES, EMBARRASSING SPEECHES, HAS RENEGE ON EVERY ISSUE BUT HE NEVER WAS TALKED ABOUT LIKE OBAMA. THE TRUTH IS MCCAIN IS PANDERING TO THE RADICAL RIGHT WING REPUBLICANS AND THEY DO NOT REPRESENT ALL AMERICAN SO VOTE OBAMA.

Posted by: JERRY | June 20, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

In doing my morning exercise, one of the songs on my iPod is Boston's "A Man I'll Never Be". A portion of the song:

Girl, you look up at me
and somewhere in your mind, you still see
a man
I'll never be

Fits Obama to a tee.

Posted by: coffeetime | June 20, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Are you giving new borns, pre teens and, teen now the right to vote?
Based on the last election it would would be around 10 million and at $3.00 each only thirty million total. Obama can raise more then that by himself in two weeks.
++++++++++++
"1 in 10" = more than 30 million Americans. That is certainly more "public" than TWO million. Regardless, I'm using the FEC definitions.

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 2:34 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Whew! I was worried that the MTV generation wouldn't be weighing in today. We all know how important it is to have a soundtrack for life. Perhaps McCain's supporters can adopt Beck's "Loser" as their theme song.

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Of course, that is the ridiculousness of it. You can take any words out of context just as Mrs. Mccain did about Mrs. Obama. It cuts both ways. When Mrs. Mccain said she doesn't know about Mrs. Obama because she has always been proud of her country. Mrs. Obama can just as easily say she can't identify with Mrs. Mccain since she has never been a drug addict or arrested as a thief for stealing from her own charity she was a director of. Like I said, it cuts both ways.

++++++++++
Uncovered of a Fox News interview with John McCain on March 13, 2008, in which McCain said, "I didn't really love America until I was deprived of her company."

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 2:30 PM

And he talking about when he was in a POW CAMP you idiot!!!!

Nice try. Check your facts.
Posted by: Independent | June 20, 2008 2:37 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm missing something here...Obama is saying he doesn't want to participate in public financing because he is afraid of the RNC and 527's attacking him? Doesn't he have the DNC and 527's on his side? It seems like the playing field is level here. Let his donors give to the DNC or the 527 of their choice instead of his campaign.

It really sounds like Obama, when he made the pledge, was a longshot, and it sounded good. Now that he is in the race he has changed his mind. He sounds more and more like a politician every day. How much change is really here?
=========================================
Stop getting your news from sound bites. Obama restricted the DNC from using 527s and PACs as soon as he was named the presumptive nominee.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse


I hope he is a politician, I hope he knows how to play the game. As far as fund raising he has rewritten the rules of how things can be done. Mccain is about to be run over and he knows it and is scared to death. Wouldn't you think the last few days in the news would have brought in a ton of money for Mccain from the public if they wanted him and supported him? His own supporters won't give him any money. How much have you contributed? I have given a lot to Obama and will give more.

++++++++
Maybe I'm missing something here...Obama is saying he doesn't want to participate in public financing because he is afraid of the RNC and 527's attacking him? Doesn't he have the DNC and 527's on his side? It seems like the playing field is level here. Let his donors give to the DNC or the 527 of their choice instead of his campaign.

It really sounds like Obama, when he made the pledge, was a longshot, and it sounded good. Now that he is in the race he has changed his mind. He sounds more and more like a politician every day. How much change is really here?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Donny, You should know what you are talking about before you open your mouth. Obama isn't saving taxpayers anything by opting out. The 80 million he is foregoing is all paid in donations made by taxpayers who choose to check the $3.00 donation on their yearly tax returns. The money is all donated and not taxed. Obama is a snake oil salesman. No different than the rest. The question is do you want the government to run your life or do you want to run your own. Both parties suck but I'll be choosing the lesser of two evils and voting to run my own life.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The $3 deduction is tax payer monies. The money given to candidates by the government is not printed specifically for that purpose. It is "donated" by tax payers.

Opting out relieves Senator Obama from being restricted to the $85M that he would have received. In the past candidates have been able to subsidize that amount by having others (527s and PACs) run their adds, distribute their fliers and other costly adventures that are associated with running a campaign. Senator Obama opted out of that also by cutting off the 527s and PACs. The one draw back to this is that he can only request that they do not undertake any such ventures on his behalf, he can not mandate it.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

This is such a non issue to everyone but the Mccain blusterers. I respect Obama's methods of funding his campaign. If you want to fact check - follow mccain around for a day or two and fact check him - with all his flip flopping you have your work cut out for you!

Posted by: JDB | June 20, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately the last election that money only totaled thirty million from the public making a defect of a hundred and fifty million to be picked up by the tax payers.

++++++++++++
Donny, You should know what you are talking about before you open your mouth. Obama isn't saving taxpayers anything by opting out. The 80 million he is foregoing is all paid in donations made by taxpayers who choose to check the $3.00 donation on their yearly tax returns. The money is all donated and not taxed. Obama is a snake oil salesman. No different than the rest. The question is do you want the government to run your life or do you want to run your own. Both parties suck but I'll be choosing the lesser of two evils and voting to run my own life.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I find the "Oh but Mccain is an even bigger liar" defence being used by Obamabots here quite disgusting.

ALL politicians are manipulative hypocrites, but only your messianic candidate has built his entire candidacy on the claim that he is above the "Old Politics".

He evidently isn't.

Remove Obama's integrity and his campaign collapses like a house of cards because all he has left is borrowed policies, no experience and a cracking impersonation of Martin Luther King.

Posted by: Jerry | June 20, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

What people like you don't get is, We don't care. Whether it was Hillary or Obama you are on your way out. If in four years Obama was not the answer who cares compared to the continued damage that can be done by Mccain and his crew.
GET IT NOW, WE DON'T CARE, WE WILL TAKE OUR CHANCES.
and there is a lot of us.

++++++++++
I find the "Oh but Mccain is an even bigger liar" defence being used by Obamabots here quite disgusting.

ALL politicians are manipulative hypocrites, but only your messianic candidate has built his entire candidacy on the claim that he is above the "Old Politics".

He evidently isn't.

Remove Obama's integrity and his campaign collapses like a house of cards because all he has left is borrowed policies, no experience and a cracking impersonation of Martin Luther King.

Posted by: Jerry | June 20, 2008 3:26 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that if he has unlimited funds and cannot use them if he goes with public funding, it just makes sense to use the money! The candidate with the most money generally wins, so why would he limit himself if he's ahead?
Yes he said one thing and is doing another but it seems like a non issue if he made a better decision in the end. Just let it go-seriously, 24 hour news must perforce make mountains out of molehills so that they have something to talk about endlessly.
Bigger question: who are the fools that contribute $3 of their taxes to public elections? I know it's so the public money could fund 'poor' candidates, but have we ever had anyone run for president who wasn't a millionaire?

Posted by: America | June 20, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

When did John McCain EVER agree to forego ALL privately funded campaigning and rely COMPLETELY on public funds for ALL campaigning? Oh yeah, NEVER.
___________________________________________

The Wash Post is angry at Obama because he doesn't need the MSM to support his campaign with editorials, "fact-checkers" or fawning articles. In other words, the WP is irrelevant because Obama can raise funds independently and his advertising can overwhelm the Post and other MSM.
___________________________________________

Obama is not foolish enough to believe that the Repub party won't fund raise for McCain and 527s won't take up a cudgel for McCain just like they did against Kerry.

A pure publicly financed system would be great, but what we have is a patch-work of regulations that don't regulate political fund raising or advertising. Until the system works correctly, forget it.

Posted by: fairfax3 | June 20, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama should take public financing because that $1 that people volitioanally add to their taxes in exchange for candidates following fundraising rules is the most democratic way to have small donors- much more than taking 52% of your money from "bundlers" (who often are corporate boards or interst groups) and 48% from individual small donors

Leon

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

By the way, it was Al Gore playing nice that may have gotten us into this mess we are in. He won the election and let it be stolen away from him without even a fight. I am depending on Obama to not be such a fool. He better fight tooth and nail because we need him. Me personally, I don't give a sh&t what Obama does to win as long as he wins. So Mr. Mccain, you better get over it because Obama isn't Al Gore, he isn't going to just roll over. None of us are going to just roll over, not this time. I can't do much but I can give a hell of a lot of money if it helps to get the Republicans out and Obama in, I can do that.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

What a persistent bunch of Gutless Wonders!
You mean to tell me that if McCain was in the reverse position opposite Obama that he would agree to Public Financing? Even with the chance that a 527 or two would come out of nowhere, and his advertising dollars would be limited to the point where he can't answer back? Wait a minute! Didn't such an attack happen to McCain during the primary?

You want to call Obama Pinocchio?! I want to call him Smart.

Posted by: ji_john | June 20, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

So, if it takes The One shooting and killing McCain to win, so be it?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

No, but I have a tenant from Haiti who does Santería, she is a priestess of some kind. Maybe I can get her to whip me up a Mccain voodoo doll I can stick pins in.

++++++++++
So, if it takes The One shooting and killing McCain to win, so be it?

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 3:58 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

People like me? What the hell do you know about me? I'm a liberal democrat, but unlike you, clearly, I have principles. I am GENUINELY disgusted by this blatant hypocrisy, not just when it's purpetrated by Republicans.

I get it all right. You DON'T CARE if Obama lies for political expediency, so long as he represents what you want. You're just as big a hypocrite as he is.
++++++++++++++++++++
What people like you don't get is, We don't care. Whether it was Hillary or Obama you are on your way out. If in four years Obama was not the answer who cares compared to the continued damage that can be done by Mccain and his crew.
GET IT NOW, WE DON'T CARE, WE WILL TAKE OUR CHANCES.
and there is a lot of us.

Posted by: Jerry | June 20, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Spin spin spin go the Obama cultists. Don't you guys ever get tired of having to rationalize this kind of behavior?

Posted by: Brian Garst | June 20, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Ah, okay, I see.

The same people shriek "liar" the instant a Republican -- any Republican -- opens his mouth, are more than happy to explain it away when Obama clearly and blatantly backs out on a pledge.

"He didn't really mean it."

"He changed his mind."

"He's just being smart."

"It doesn't really matter."

"It's okay, cuz other people do bad stuff too."

This, of course, from people who regularly tell us how much smarter, more tolerant, more sensitive and more ethical they are than the rest of us.

You're to be pitied.

Posted by: jblog | June 20, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Brian Garst wrote: "Spin spin spin go the Obama cultists. Don't you guys ever get tired of having to rationalize this kind of behavior?"

Well, we've had so many years of trying to make some sense out of the multitude of Bush's failures and rationalizing how or why we could have ever ended up with such a spectacular failure for a president ... TWICE!, that I guess we're just in permanent rationalization mode these days.

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Well said jblog. I'm a proud liberal, but these people make me cringe. There is simply no doubt that Obama has broken an important promise, but these drones either won't admit it or worse, don't care.

You lot are no better than Karl Rove or any of the other Orwellian Double-Talkers on the far right. The ONLY difference is that you're on the far left.

Posted by: Jerry | June 20, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

To Jerry: If you think that the method by which a candidate funds his/her campaign is an "important promise," then you are the one to be pitied. Politics, like most blood sports, cannot be played in a vacuum. If two teams were playing in the Super Bowl, and the coach of Team A promised his fans that he was going to pursue a certain strategy throughout the entire game, but by the end of the first quarter Team A either was losing or saw an advantage by changing strategy, Team A's fans would want their team to pursue the winning strategy. Barack Obama sees a winning strategy in foregoing public financing for his campaign. So be it. It seems like a sound decision to me. What do I care if the man changes his decision? It proves to me that he is a man who is thinking about a winning strategy every day that he is running this race. Funding a campaign is not an important national issue. The economy, national security, education, environmental protection, these are important national issues. Senator Obama changing his decision regarding public financing does not even touch on the man's character. I certainly don't feel as though the man has broken a promise to me. I wouldn't feel that way if John McCain did it. So long as we have a candidate who wants to make America a better place and wants to affect positive changes in the lives of as many Americans as possible, that's what matters most.

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama DID NOT LIE about his commitment to a PUBLICLY financed campaign. But McCain will NOT agree to a purely publicly financed campaign, ie, NO PRIVATE FUNDS IN THE CAMPAIGN FROM ANY WHERE AT ANY TIME.

If you took the time to READ WHAT OBAMA SAID, you might understand the issue: PUBLIC FINANCING ONLY FOR EVEYONE ALL THE TIME.

Why can't you conservative hacks understand even the simplest concepts?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Senator Obama broke promise. Public Campaign Finance was his passport for a real change. He lacks credibility.

Posted by: mmarii | June 20, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

For a novice, Obama has shown how adept he is at dissembling, parsing and weaseling... the usual "skills" of a typical, hypocritical politician. Take the evolution of the Rev. Wright issue, for example. 1) At first, Obama said he could disown his 20-year pastor no more than he could disown the black community and his white grandmother. He also said he had never heard Rev. Wright's controversial statements in church (a "lawyerly" statement). 2) Later, he disowned the statements he claimed he never heard, but not his pastor. 3) Later, he disowned Rev. Wright himself. 4) Finally, he quit the church. Another example is the evolution of the public financing issue. Obama promised to use public funds when it was convenient to do so, then reneged on his word when it was convenient to do so. He easily turned his back on his pledge to use public funds, managing to come up with the excuse that the system is "broken," the same system he had praised earlier. Will the real Barack H. Obama please stand up? What else do we not know about this man who could become President of the greatest nation on earth? God help us. Let's help ourselves by electing John S. McCain, a true patriot and a proven leader with the experience, judgment and gravitas to lead our great country. He may not be perfect - no one is - but we know who he is.

Posted by: Margarita L. | June 20, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Who cares, not one percent of the public could even tell you what they are talking about. To the public it is a non issue and by the election no one will even remember anyway. I take that back, Mccain will remember because he will be broke.

+++++++
Senator Obama broke promise. Public Campaign Finance was his passport for a real change. He lacks credibility.

Posted by: mmarii | June 20, 2008 4:45 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to say that I think you are all idiots...both Republican and Democrat...I think you should be called Republicrats b/c you guys are basically the same thing. Oh yeah nevermind the rupublicraps prefer to kill convicts and the hypocrats prefer to kill babies thats right I knew there was a difference!! You two half-retarded SOB's seem to alwasy nominate the most left or right winged person available at the time its ridiculous. Seeing as most of the American population is in the middle you'd think there would be a candidate that would support those views wouldnt ya?? Truth is the Democrap's and Republican'ts dont give two sh**s about the people but you idiots are too blind to see. Thats why no one votes anymore b/c we know its all a bunch of BS these days and only crackheaded sex offenders and people with down syndrome get involved in politics. So have fun arguing about who is less intelligent....but it reality you're both a stupid as the other so why don't you just shut your good for nothing holes, get off your a**es and be the change you want to see in the world.

Posted by: Spinaltap | June 20, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

John is a disgrace. He was a disgrace as a military man, as a husband as a senator. Most of his unremarkable life has been a disgrace. He is just a throw away candidate for a party that knows they are going to lose. Who is out there campaigning for him? No one, not one republican who may want to get reelected wants his stink to rub off on them. It may be more then that though, they know him better then any of us and don;t like what they see. His own party thinks he is nothing.

+++++++++
For a novice, Obama has shown how adept he is at dissembling, parsing and weaseling... the usual "skills" of a typical, hypocritical politician. Take the evolution of the Rev. Wright issue, for example. 1) At first, Obama said he could disown his 20-year pastor no more than he could disown the black community and his white grandmother. He also said he had never heard Rev. Wright's controversial statements in church (a "lawyerly" statement). 2) Later, he disowned the statements he claimed he never heard, but not his pastor. 3) Later, he disowned Rev. Wright himself. 4) Finally, he quit the church. Another example is the evolution of the public financing issue. Obama promised to use public funds when it was convenient to do so, then reneged on his word when it was convenient to do so. He easily turned his back on his pledge to use public funds, managing to come up with the excuse that the system is "broken," the same system he had praised earlier. Will the real Barack H. Obama please stand up? What else do we not know about this man who could become President of the greatest nation on earth? God help us. Let's help ourselves by electing John S. McCain, a true patriot and a proven leader with the experience, judgment and gravitas to lead our great country. He may not be perfect - no one is - but we know who he is.

Posted by: Margarita L. | June 20, 2008 4:45 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

You should put your time to better use and not read blogs Instead you post on here under a dozen different names. Maybe a good use of your time may be learning to spell.

++++++++
I just wanted to say that I think you are all idiots...both Republican and Democrat...I think you should be called Republicrats b/c you guys are basically the same thing. Oh yeah nevermind the rupublicraps prefer to kill convicts and the hypocrats prefer to kill babies thats right I knew there was a difference!! You two half-retarded SOB's seem to alwasy nominate the most left or right winged person available at the time its ridiculous. Seeing as most of the American population is in the middle you'd think there would be a candidate that would support those views wouldnt ya?? Truth is the Democrap's and Republican'ts dont give two sh**s about the people but you idiots are too blind to see. Thats why no one votes anymore b/c we know its all a bunch of BS these days and only crackheaded sex offenders and people with down syndrome get involved in politics. So have fun arguing about who is less intelligent....but it reality you're both a stupid as the other so why don't you just shut your good for nothing holes, get off your a**es and be the change you want to see in the world.

Posted by: Spinaltap | June 20, 2008 4:52 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

So both sides should get over it, and move onto something that doesn't make them both look asinine.

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 2:48

Are you kidding me right now? You're comparing someone who spent 5 years in a Vietnamese prison camp while being TORTURED to a woman who has lived a far better life than most Americans...?

Really? That's your comparison?

You people really need to get off the "Obama dope."

I don't care what your political persuasion is; NO ONE can question John McCain's patriotism.

And if you are, you had better served in the armed forces and spent 6+ years a POW camp...

Posted by: Independent | June 20, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Not to knock your hero but Mccains only military accomplishment besides crashing 5 planes was being captured. For him it was a career move and he has been living off it ever since. Give me a break. There is a book coming out later this year by a fellow prisoner of his that may expose your hero a bit.

(((((((((((((((((((((
Are you kidding me right now? You're comparing someone who spent 5 years in a Vietnamese prison camp while being TORTURED to a woman who has lived a far better life than most Americans...?

Really? That's your comparison?

You people really need to get off the "Obama dope."

I don't care what your political persuasion is; NO ONE can question John McCain's patriotism.

And if you are, you had better served in the armed forces and spent 6+ years a POW camp...
Posted by: Independent | June 20, 2008 5:11 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

To Independent: The comparison is that no one should purposefully miscontstrue either candidate's or either candidate's spouse's remarks as being symbolic of a lack of patriotism. Your post is a perfect example of what I am attempting to address: Instead of automatically giving the McCains and Obamas credit for being good, patriotic Americans, you immediately attack Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama never degraded Senator McCain or his military service or the tremendous sacrifice he made for his country. And neither did I. My point was quite clearly made that no one should be trying to paint any of the candidates or their spouses as unAmerican, because it serves no useful purpose and just makes those from either side who do asinine. But you apparently cannot help yourself. I do note -- and quite pointedly at that -- that while you are clearly incensed over the idea of anyone questioning John McCain's patriotism, you are all too ready to throw Mrs. Obama under the unAmerican bus. Try practicing what you preach. If you want people to treat Senator McCain with some decency and respect, try treating his rivals with some decency and respect.

It would appear that many people out there would rather harp on these non-germane issues, as opposed to discussing the real issues that face our country and its citizens.

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Only thirty six percent of the Obama campaign funds come from small donors.That leaves sixty four percent from lobyist,energy companies and insurance companies and the rich and powerful Washington insiders.You know the ones that Obama "dosent take money from".Apparently it is okay to lie when money is involved.So now the Democrats have their very own liar just like the repugs.Change?Only the name of the party.

Posted by: Nannie Turner | June 20, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping for fresh ideas and change... but it seems that we will most probably get the same typical shallow liberal flip-flopping politician in the White House who will do or say anything to get there.

Posted by: Dan | June 20, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Dan wrote: "I was hoping for fresh ideas and change... but it seems that we will most probably get the same typical shallow liberal flip-flopping politician in the White House who will do or say anything to get there."

Unlike those steadfast Republicans ... who will do or say anything to keep the White House?

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama would be a fool to agree to public financing. Look at all the negative attacks the GOP (nationally and locally in states like Tennessee, North Carolina, and Mississippi) have run against him and Michelle Obama.

Obama would take public financing if 527 groups are eliminated from the political process.

Obama and his team pursued public financing with minimization of special interest money with McCain and McCain's team but McCain's team failed to comply with the terms.

Let's see if the "noble" John McCain will stick to public campaign financing, regardless of Obama's position.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 20, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 6:08

I was really directing my answer a previous post and I agree with your words.

However, there does come a time when you need to collect data points for a person's character. And when people make compare situations like this, it strikes a nerve.

Also, when you have people list this:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not to knock your hero but McCains only military accomplishment besides crashing 5 planes was being captured. For him it was a career move and he has been living off it ever since. Give me a break. There is a book coming out later this year by a fellow prisoner of his that may expose your hero a bit.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Obviously someone with -1 IQ because he didn't crash 5 planes, only 4 because 1 blew up while he was sitting in it... There's a little propaganda for you. Either way having served in the military myself, I think it should be a prerequisite for being the commander and chief, but that's just my opinion.

I really have nothing against Mr/Mrs. Obama. What I do have a problem with is the blind faith that the Obama's are going "C-H-A-N-G-E the world..."

He may be a qualified candidate in 2012. But he's been a Senator for THREE YEARS. We really have no history on what this man stands for or what he'll do. Is that the person you want to be president of the most powerful country in the world? Really?



Posted by: Independent | June 20, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

To Kay Decker. No, you are the one to be pitied, if for nothing else but your pitiful analogy.

If you want to use an asinine sports analogy, here's a more appropriate one...

The coach of team A advocates publically, for years, that a certain tactic should be banned because it gives other teams an unfair advantage. Then, he signs a player who is a master at this tactic. All of a sudden it's to his advantage to maintain the status quo, so he changes his mind.

That is UNPRINCIPLED hypocrisy and the fact that you are prepared to shamelessly rationalize and dismiss it is disgraceful.

Campaign finance is crucially imporant, and until yesterday, Obama seemed to agree. You only don't care about it now, because your candidate is the one doing it.

He's my candidate too, but at least I have the dignity to admit that it's unprincipled hypocrisy.

It's perfectly fair to question now, how many other points of principle and judgement is Obama prepared to abandon in pursuit of victory?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

To Jerry: If you think that the method by which a candidate funds his/her campaign is an "important promise," then you are the one to be pitied. Politics, like most blood sports, cannot be played in a vacuum. If two teams were playing in the Super Bowl, and the coach of Team A promised his fans that he was going to pursue a certain strategy throughout the entire game, but by the end of the first quarter Team A either was losing or saw an advantage by changing strategy, Team A's fans would want their team to pursue the winning strategy. Barack Obama sees a winning strategy in foregoing public financing for his campaign. So be it. It seems like a sound decision to me. What do I care if the man changes his decision? It proves to me that he is a man who is thinking about a winning strategy every day that he is running this race. Funding a campaign is not an important national issue. The economy, national security, education, environmental protection, these are important national issues. Senator Obama changing his decision regarding public financing does not even touch on the man's character. I certainly don't feel as though the man has broken a promise to me. I wouldn't feel that way if John McCain did it. So long as we have a candidate who wants to make America a better place and wants to affect positive changes in the lives of as many Americans as possible, that's what matters most.

Posted by: Kay Decker | June 20, 2008 4:31 PM

Posted by: Jerry | June 20, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama-Junkie:

And, if McCain sticks with his end of the agreement, what, you will vote for him?!

Posted by: JakeD | June 20, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article and posts. Seems me like McCain's masterful gaming of the public primary financing and refusal to rein in the 527 groups put the nail in the coffin of anything believable from his camp. For Obama to have done anything else would have been the equivalent of unilateral disarmament and a sure setup for a replay of 2004

Posted by: Bill from Austin | June 20, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Your numbers are not right. 90% of his donators gave $100.00 or less. If you subtract that from the total that does not mean the remainder was from large contributers just LARGER contributers such as myself. Many gave $500. many a $1000.00 or more but that is by no means are large contributions. You don't buy influences giving someone $1000. like your post would like to suggest. You have to give ten million like was given to Bill Clinton. That is why Hillary can never be anywhere near the white house again, not even as a VP because of what they have been up to for the last few years, they have been influences peddling based on Hillary being president. But that is all old news now, I hope Bill doesn't have to give all that money back now that they blew it.

++++++++
Only thirty six percent of the Obama campaign funds come from small donors.That leaves sixty four percent from lobyist,energy companies and insurance companies and the rich and powerful Washington insiders.You know the ones that Obama "dosent take money from".Apparently it is okay to lie when money is involved.So now the Democrats have their very own liar just like the repugs.Change?Only the name of the party.

Posted by: Nannie Turner | June 20, 2008 6:49 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Please help me promote this site:

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upload your videos, sign up and invite friends.

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Posted by: newsendorser | June 20, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama's concerns about the 527's is nothing more than a smoke screen...to divert attention from the FACT that he does not value truth and promises.

From the Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB121387916534288307.html?mod=special_page_campaign2008_leftbox

In the message, Sen. Obama said one of the broken parts of the system was unbridled spending by 527 groups, named for the tax code that permits them. These groups are allowed to spend unlimited money, provided they don't strategize with candidates.
While Sen. Obama said such groups were aiding Sen. McCain's campaign, he didn't note that they are lining up to support him as well. Through Thursday, independent political groups supporting Sen. Obama had spent $15.3 million, while independent groups supporting Sen. McCain had spent only $1.1 million, federal campaign-finance records show.
Huge disparity there...don't ya think...considering his reasoning for opting out has oh so much to do with the 527s. That little tidbit certainly seems to give lie to his statement.


Obama's lame excuse
http://www.newsweek.com/id/142399/page/1

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Please help me promote this site:

http://www.newsendorser.com

upload your videos, sign up and invite friends.

Your help means a lot to me!

Thanks!

Posted by: newsendorser | June 20, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Screw Mccain and the horse he road in on. Obama doesn't owe anyone an explanation other then his supporters who expect him to do what he can to win. Same as Mccain will do. politics is rough stuff and not for wimps like Mccain who cries so much it is getting ridiculous. Obama knows what he is doing. When Clinton played hardball it was perceived as, "she is tough and a leader". When Obama does it they try to paint him as something else. Fight the good fight Obama and you can have some more of my money. Beat the crap out of that pathetic Mccain, we are counting on you.

++++++++++++
Obama's concerns about the 527's is nothing more than a smoke screen...to divert attention from the FACT that he does not value truth and promises.

From the Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB121387916534288307.html?mod=special_page_campaign2008_leftbox

In the message, Sen. Obama said one of the broken parts of the system was unbridled spending by 527 groups, named for the tax code that permits them. These groups are allowed to spend unlimited money, provided they don't strategize with candidates.
While Sen. Obama said such groups were aiding Sen. McCain's campaign, he didn't note that they are lining up to support him as well. Through Thursday, independent political groups supporting Sen. Obama had spent $15.3 million, while independent groups supporting Sen. McCain had spent only $1.1 million, federal campaign-finance records show.
Huge disparity there...don't ya think...considering his reasoning for opting out has oh so much to do with the 527s. That little tidbit certainly seems to give lie to his statement.


Obama's lame excuse
http://www.newsweek.com/id/142399/page/1

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 9:51 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Today Anderson Cooper was running discussion about Barack Obama and race remarks on the address of Republicans...yesterday he fortunately left stupid public financing system for his campaign. When I see what is already running on youtube I am glad he did it because at least he will have money to run reall campaign instead of fighting idiotic smear coming from Republicans.
Here is on small sample.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5_JMZ9ScBs&feature=related

Posted by: JR, Virginia | June 20, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

So what! Obama still has the moral ground on this issue. 1-He refuses to accept money from lobbyists and PACs. 2-He has forced the DNC to refuse money from lobbyists and PACs. 3-The small donor, grass roots base of Obama's campaign is the ideal in terms of funding a clean campaign that will not be tied to special interests. 4-McCain already flip flopped during the primary on public financing. First he asked for public financing then after accepting money under those pretenses decided it wasn't enough and as late as February said he was changing his mind. Not only did he change his mind he violated the laws and FEC rules. See this link: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/mccain-told-he-must-take-public-money/?scp=2&sq=mccain%20matching%20funds%20primary&st=cse

Posted by: TJK | June 20, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the comment by "Juan" Obama is definately no JFK.I heard earlier on the news that he is considering Chuck Hagel(republican)as his VP pick,that may help him win some republican voters,I also heard that Hillary will be campaigning with him next week,that should help him win over some of Hillary's 18 million supporters and some undecided women.I will not vote for Obama unless he chooses Hillary as his VP.She would be a much better choice than Bill Richardson or John Edwards,she helps with the working class and white male vote,along with the female vote.I have been a Hillary supporter all along and Obama will get my vote if Hillary is on the ticket,if not I will vote for McCain.

Posted by: mceversole | June 20, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

This guy looks like a true flip flopper who will say and do anything for political expediancy

Posted by: Joe | June 21, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

I bet Obama can spell it though.

-----------
This guy looks like a true flip flopper who will say and do anything for political expediancy

Posted by: Joe | June 21, 2008 12:08 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Jerry - brother or sister - I think I may well be in agreement with the spirit of your posts. But do you really think that it's appropriate to throw 15-20 line quotes from OTHER people's comments at us? I mean, c'mon! If a name, time, and minimal excerpt isn't sufficient, what makes you think that we wish to look at the claptrap again?

Posted by: Bob S. | June 21, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Wait a second. If the question is "if your opponents agree to forego private funding" and McCain has opted in and out of the public financing system at will and didn't formally declare he was going to abide by Federal Financing restrictions until THE SAME DAY Obama said he wasn't... How is Obama going back on his word?

He's not! That's how! McCain was IN then out, then back IN. He may have BROKEN LAWS in this process, and his argument that he HADN'T broken laws was that he hadn't FORMALLY OPTED IN. So since the question presupposed Obama's opponent was IN the Federal system, and at the time Obama opted out McCain wasn't formally in yet, HOW CAN THIS BE A REVERSAL on Obama's part?

Posted by: ntucker | June 21, 2008 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Please, you are making too much sense. Don't confuse them with the facts.

+++++++++++
Wait a second. If the question is "if your opponents agree to forego private funding" and McCain has opted in and out of the public financing system at will and didn't formally declare he was going to abide by Federal Financing restrictions until THE SAME DAY Obama said he wasn't... How is Obama going back on his word?

He's not! That's how! McCain was IN then out, then back IN. He may have BROKEN LAWS in this process, and his argument that he HADN'T broken laws was that he hadn't FORMALLY OPTED IN. So since the question presupposed Obama's opponent was IN the Federal system, and at the time Obama opted out McCain wasn't formally in yet, HOW CAN THIS BE A REVERSAL on Obama's part?

Posted by: ntucker | June 21, 2008 2:36 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2008 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Obama is deluding himself that money is the most powerful asset you can have. With all the saturation ads he was able to air in PA, OH and other midwestern states, he lost by a mile in the primaries. He lost in South Dakota with all the powerful politicians supporting him, including the McGovern switch at the last minute. So where doe he go from here? More ads? It will only harm his image, as he found out in PA. Yes, if the 527s spring up to attack him, he needs to respond, but surely there are no easy resonses to falsehoods. The fact is that when everything is going for him, he is leading in the polls in the 45-41 range, while other democrats are surging in a wave of support. Whether you like it or not, Obama may have peaked too soon. The Omamamania is a thing of the past. His lack of experience, his victory over Hillary and above all his monolithic support from African American electorate have given him glory so far, but may haunt him in November. His unwavering support from the media is giving him unique advantages never before enjoyed by any candidate. But his lopsided losses in KY, WV and other places should give pause for the democrats before counting on his victory in November. His decision to depend soley on the money raised from rich white liberals and their hith and kin, and in the process bury the campaign reform concept may be good money politics, but I am not sure it is good people politics. If anything has been proven this year, it is that money is no guaranty of votes. McCain is a good example, as also the contests in PA and OH for democrats. People are angry at politicians who don't walk their talk or engage in downright lies. Obama may face the moment of truth unless he is able to cut into the white working class people, Hispanics and middle aged women. Excess money may give him advantage in ads, not necessarily in votes. It may in fact stir resentment. The decision to give up on federal matching support for his campaign will surely bring accusations of hypocrisy, and very legitimately so. Surely it is going to hurt future democratic presidential candidates because in an average election year, Republicans can count on more rich friends than democrats. This year was an exception because of the Republican administration's unabashed use of lies and terror tactics that has truly created revulsion in people, especially because of the resulting economic misery through inflated gas prices and the all-round price spirals.

Posted by: Nathan | June 21, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Obama did aggressively pursue a public funding agreement with McSame. McSame refused to rein in his 527s. So, Club for Growth, Freedom's Watch, and Swift Boat Vets for Truth can raise and spend millions against Obama. You think Obama should follow Kerry's path over a cliff?

Shut down Fox News and hate radio and we'll talk.

Posted by: Kurt S. | June 21, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

LOL!! McCain also "refused" to stop the sun from rising in the East. Would you defend Obama if THAT was one of his pre-conditions too? The real test would be whether you would defend McCain if he went against his pledge?

Seriously, I would like to know which part of the First Amendment you Obamaniacs don't understand? Obama can't stop 527s from launching ads against McCain either.

Posted by: JakeD | June 21, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm not even sure who you are giving the Pinocchios to, but if you have to go back over a year to find conflict then this should be closer to a non-issue. Things change, times change, people change, this is life. No harm no foul, looks like a no call to me.

Posted by: vcsmith
===========================================
I believe the words used, when politicians say things change, times change, people change, etc., after making stupid pledges are "flip-flopping". New political words for lie.
I. now, understand why Obama's campaign is based on words. He can change or, as he says, context them at any time. It is amazing how voters keep falling for word promises. Words are the cheapest item on the market. Amazing, amazing.

This guy can't just say what he means or mean what he says. I guess if your followers are fools it doesn't really matter?

Posted by: Chief | June 21, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Chief:

Did you read the WaPo editorial "Politics of Spare CHANGE" on the topic?

Posted by: JakeD | June 21, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

See also, latest Trail thread re: Obama Supports FISA Legislation, Angering Left ; )

Posted by: JakeD | June 21, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

It is not disingenuous to make a qualified statement and then say something contrary when those qualifications are not met. It is disingenuous to attribute "Pinocchio tests" to such an incident. Bottom line, the "promise" was made under the qualification of reigning in 527s was not met. Furthermore without that qualification being met then limits in spending are a facade and nothing more. Obama is being far more honest here than McCain and that's the reality. Just look at what he's done with moveon.org.

Posted by: Kelly | June 21, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

What did Obama do with moveon.org that they did not agree to do themselves?

Posted by: JakeD | June 21, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama Polishes His Resume
June 20, 2008

His first ad of the post-primary season puffs up his legislative accomplishments.

Obama touts his legislative accomplishments, and those claims don't stand up as well under scrutiny. I

In order to establish his bona fides as a politician who cares about working families, Obama cites his success with three relevant bills. But he doesn't mention that two of the three pieces of legislation were actually passed by the Illinois Senate, not the U.S. Senate. Obama's campaign tells us that when he says, "I passed laws moving people from welfare to work," he is referring to the bill that created Illinois' Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program in 1997.

Obama was one of five original sponsors of the bill, which set limits on public assistance and required welfare recipients to outline plans for moving into the workforce. The law that "cut taxes for working families" is a 2000 bill, on which Obama and 35 others were later added as cosponsors, instituting an earned income-tax credit for the state. Both bills affected only Illinois residents.

The only national law in Obama's ad is the one that "extended health care for wounded troops," and it's dubious whether he can claim full responsibility for that one. H.R. 4986, which became public law 110-181 in 2008, includes provisions from several Obama-sponsored bills. His ideas made it into law, but Obama was not a sponsor or cosponsor of H.R. 4986 itself.

Finally, it has always been our position that it's misleading when a member of a legislative body says that he or she "passed a law," "cut taxes" or makes any similar claim to single-handed lawmaking. It takes more than one legislator to get these things done. In addition to the sponsors and the cosponsors, sometimes dozens of them, the bill needs the support of a majority in both houses. Usually, a governor or president needs to then sign a bill into law, unless the legislature comes up with a veto-proof majority.

So for Obama to say that he "passed a law" casts him as a legislative Lone Ranger, hogging credit that properly belongs to other parties as well.

-Jess Henig, FACT CHECK.ORG

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

To the Obama supporters, Barack didn't lie to me. He looked in your eyes, spoke about Change and Hope and made lofty, highminded promises - then, he reneged, when the dough came rolling in. He lied to you. As a politician, he's very successful. He can lie to his supporters and yet they still send him cash. Where will you draw the line? Now, as a transcendent maverick who will change Washington, he's already failed.

Posted by: David | June 21, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

This three Pinocchio rating seems to ignore a whole welter of whoppers Obama gave as reasons for his reneging his promise. I'm afraid that in my opinion this one deserved a cumulative five Pinocchio rating.

Sadly this column seems to be going far to easily on Mr. Obama I am not just another Politician.

Sorry to say I was already doubting I would be voting for Barack Obama but this last one just nailed the coffin on the issue for me.

Posted by: WMD | June 21, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, FOUR Pinocchios would be the highest rating possible -- so, I don't have a problem with three -- besides, there's a 2% chance that Obama is telling the truth ; )

Posted by: JakeD | June 22, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I just hope there's no race rioting when John Sidney McCain wins.

Posted by: JakeD | June 22, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

THESE REMARKS BY OBAMA ARE SO ANTI-AMERICAN AND SO OFFENSIVE TO EUROPEAN AMERCANS THAT Obama should RESIGN FROM THE SENATE IMMEDIATELY AND WITHDRAW FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE.


****************************************


JACKSONVILLE, Florida (CNN) - Barack Obama told supporters that Republicans will "try to make you afraid of me" in remarks he made Friday at a Florida fundraiser.

"The choice is clear. Most of all we can choose between hope and fear. It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy.

"We know what kind of campaign they're going to run," said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. "They're going to try to make you afraid. They're going to try to make you afraid of me. 'He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?'"

In similar comments at a Chicago fundraiser last Thursday, Obama told supporters that Republicans would try to portray both him and his wife Michelle as "scary."

"They're going to try to make me into a scary guy," he said last week. "They're even trying to make Michelle into a scary person. Right?" And so that drumbeat - 'we're not sure if he's patriotic or not; we're not sure if he is too black.'


"I don't know, before I wasn't black enough," said Obama. "'Now he might be too black. We don't know whether he's going to socialize - well, who knows what.'"

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

THESE REMARKS BY OBAMA ARE SO ANTI-AMERICAN AND SO OFFENSIVE TO EUROPEAN AMERCANS THAT Obama should RESIGN FROM THE SENATE IMMEDIATELY AND WITHDRAW FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE.


****************************************


JACKSONVILLE, Florida (CNN) - Barack Obama told supporters that Republicans will "try to make you afraid of me" in remarks he made Friday at a Florida fundraiser.

"The choice is clear. Most of all we can choose between hope and fear. It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy.

"We know what kind of campaign they're going to run," said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. "They're going to try to make you afraid. They're going to try to make you afraid of me. 'He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?'"

In similar comments at a Chicago fundraiser last Thursday, Obama told supporters that Republicans would try to portray both him and his wife Michelle as "scary."

"They're going to try to make me into a scary guy," he said last week. "They're even trying to make Michelle into a scary person. Right?" And so that drumbeat - 'we're not sure if he's patriotic or not; we're not sure if he is too black.'


"I don't know, before I wasn't black enough," said Obama. "'Now he might be too black. We don't know whether he's going to socialize - well, who knows what.'"

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | June 22, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the ignorance of so many who are trying to claim in their arsenal that Obama should be using the "donation" from the freakin' tax return as being more publicly funded than direct donations from small donors. Do none of you people pay any freakin' taxes? Are you just so unobservant that you don't bother to read?

Let me be perfectly clear: IT'S NOT A DONATION FROM THE INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER. It does not increase the checker's direct tax burden, or reduce the checker's direct refund. In fact, it says, and I quote:

"Checking a box below will not change your tax or refund."

So, no one is altruistically donating money directly out of their pocket, reducing their return or increasing their individual taxes for the integrity of the election process. That's the seduction of it. It's like you're giving away someone else's money.

Everyone checking that box is doing nothing more than increasing the money we have to borrow from China so John Sydney McCain can milk the public once more, as he's been doing for the last 30-odd years.

I have never checked that box, and I never will. If I support a candidate, I know perfectly well how to give that candidate MY money directly, just as I have for Obama.

Leave it to the Regressives to squeal and point fingers because the "liberal" didn't take borrowed money from China to support a "government program" (election), while piously touting their "fiscal conservative" for bilking it because he inspires no one to want to contribute.

Posted by: Mark in VA | June 22, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Meet the Press SLAMMED Obama on public financing.

Posted by: JakeD | June 22, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse


You know the contributions last election only amounted to thirty million. Meaning we have to kick in fifty million of tax payers dollars to pay for Mccains inept campaign. Obama just saved us eighty million.

++++++++++++
I cannot believe the ignorance of so many who are trying to claim in their arsenal that Obama should be using the "donation" from the freakin' tax return as being more publicly funded than direct donations from small donors. Do none of you people pay any freakin' taxes? Are you just so unobservant that you don't bother to read?

Let me be perfectly clear: IT'S NOT A DONATION FROM THE INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER. It does not increase the checker's direct tax burden, or reduce the checker's direct refund. In fact, it says, and I quote:

"Checking a box below will not change your tax or refund."

So, no one is altruistically donating money directly out of their pocket, reducing their return or increasing their individual taxes for the integrity of the election process. That's the seduction of it. It's like you're giving away someone else's money.

Everyone checking that box is doing nothing more than increasing the money we have to borrow from China so John Sydney McCain can milk the public once more, as he's been doing for the last 30-odd years.

I have never checked that box, and I never will. If I support a candidate, I know perfectly well how to give that candidate MY money directly, just as I have for Obama.

Leave it to the Regressives to squeal and point fingers because the "liberal" didn't take borrowed money from China to support a "government program" (election), while piously touting their "fiscal conservative" for bilking it because he inspires no one to want to contribute.

Posted by: Mark in VA | June 22, 2008 2:42 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

When will we be seeing this "Fact Checker" column check into McCain's lying to get a loan based on his acceptance of public financing in the primaries? Never? Might lose your all-access-pass to his lap?

Posted by: Frank Booth | June 23, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

And this bothers republicans? Thought they'd admire him for it. Ha Ha Ha. You creepy little fear mongers gonna get a big hurt on your fat lazy azzes come November.

Posted by: Arny | June 23, 2008 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Interestingly enough. as one who reads most all the major news outlets. It is almost impossible to even find a mention of John Mccain either positive or negative. He is like the non candidate that although we know he is there no one really cares. Every story in every outlet is Obama related.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. addresses the Economic Club of Canada, Friday, June 20, 2008, in Ottawa, Canada. The centerpiece of his six-hour visit to Canada, the address was seen as a cross-border political attack as McCain criticized presumed Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., without mentioning him by name, for his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)
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OTTAWA -- Call it campaign growing pains. Or bad luck. Or a combination of the two.

By any name, Sen. John McCain is hampered by missteps and self-generated controversy in the early days of the general election campaign for the White House.

Take his most recent trip through several states and the Canadian capital, a five-day span during which he courted conservatives and independents alike, raised more than $10 million and began detailing his considerable differences with Sen. Barack Obama on energy policy.

Still, on Tuesday, he criticized his rival for proposing a windfall profits tax on the oil industry. The attack was complicated by McCain's earlier statement that he would consider the same thing.

The following day, he met with a group of Hispanics in Chicago. Aides who had kept word of the event secret were placed on the defensive within hours after one participant criticized some of McCain's comments.

On Thursday, the Arizona senator flew to Iowa, a likely battleground state in the fall, where he expressed sympathy with victims of severe flooding and pledged support for federal recovery aid. The event was overshadowed by President Bush's appearance elsewhere in the same state on the same day.

Friday's trip to Canada brought more controversy.

McCain arrived aboard his chartered campaign jet, yet told reporters at a news conference, "this is not a political campaign trip." The senator added he didn't feel it was appropriate to have the government to pay "while I am the nominee of my party."

The centerpiece of the six-hour visit was a speech to the Economic Club of Canada that amounted to a cross-border political attack. McCain criticized Obama, without mentioning him by name, for his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Demanding unilateral changes and threatening to abrogate an agreement that has increased trade and prosperity is nothing more than retreating behind protectionist walls," he said.

McCain's schedule also included mention of an unspecified "finance event." While that is customarily campaign jargon for a fundraiser, foreigners may not donate to U.S. candidates, and one aide was quoted in advance as saying that money from $100-per-person event would simply defray the cost of the earlier luncheon.

The non-fundraiser, which may or may not have cost $100 to attend, was held on the top floor of a building with a commanding view of the city skyline. McCain said he knew some of those in attendance had homes in Arizona in the cold weather, and at one point, referred to his campaign themes of "reform, peace and prosperity."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

The candidates still need to get good VP's, and http://www.votenic.com holds a weekly Vice President poll, so see who America thinks should back the candidates.

Posted by: ulwatu | June 23, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

So it's the Yahkees(Obama) vs. Boston(McCain)

Now matter how much money you have, the better team will win!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

WARNING - all you Obama voters. Here comes another flip-flop.

Can this man stand behind anything he says?

His campaign slogan "change you can believe" really means you can believe he's going to change everything he said in the primaries.

Here's a few more:

NAFTA
Iran
Rev Wright
Ethanol


Posted by: gskrptr | June 24, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Stephen Colbert SLAMMED Obama on public financing.

Posted by: JakeD | June 24, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"...He does not want to disarm in the face of likely Swiftboat-type attacks on his character, mounted by conservative groups not directly affiliated with the McCain campaign."

Exactly what is a "Swiftboat-type attack" given that the Swiftboat Vets were truth-tellers who revealed the many lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations, and tall-tales that Kerry created in his very short medal-grubbing tour of duty.

None of the Swiftvet charges have been disproved and most have been corroborated. Only Kerry has had to backtrack on his embellishments.

And, T. Boone Pickens has a $1 million challenge to Kerry or anyone else who can demonstrate that any of the Swiftvet charges against Kerry are false. That would include this reporter, whose reporting on the Swiftvets suffered from bias and ineptitude.

You can read about it in a new book, "To Set The Record Straight" by Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler. It has the kind of documentation and footnoting that most MSM reporters would find daunting. Don't expect the Post to review it. The Post managed to avoid reviewing "Unfit for Command" despite the fact that that book and the Swiftvet ads were the single-most factor in the defeat of John Kerry.

Posted by: VietVet | June 24, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Of all the arguments against Senator Obama's decision to refuse public funding, the argument that there has been little anti Obama 527 activity to date is the most inane. The relative lack of activity to date says nothing about the possibility of significant activity in the future. This is June. The Swiftboat attacks in 2004 did not appear until August.

Posted by: George | June 24, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Actually, George, the 200 Swift Boat Vets For Truth signed their letter to John Kerry on MAY 4, 2004 and Tom Pardue's press release was dated MAY 6, 2004.

Posted by: JakeD | June 24, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Please see latest Fact Checker thread re: pitfalls of electing someone with even LESS experience than John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Posted by: JakeD | June 25, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

George and VietVet:

Weren't you upset when Kerry was swiftboated?

Posted by: JakeD | June 25, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Hum there is a litany of McCain flip flops, I don't count on you to ever discuss them.

Posted by: Julian | June 26, 2008 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Julian:

You mean OTHER than all the Fact Checker threads slamming McCain, most notably "Who is the Flip-Flop Champion?" which highlighted the TOP TEN Republican flip flops?

Posted by: JakeD | June 26, 2008 4:07 AM | Report abuse

How can you call campaign financing Public in light that Obama has redefined Public financing?

The new definitions should be:

Government sponsored Public finance and
Direct Public finance

Posted by: Fresh Brains | June 29, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Fresh:

Using your new definition, then Presidents Bush and Clinton utilized direct "public" financing too. What's your definition of "is"?

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I like to sit in my bedroom and touch myself, saying in a low voice "Jake HUSSEIN D... Jake HUSSEIN D..." until I reach clarity and remember to say "John SIDNEY McCain."

Then, because I am old and have a number of exotic inhibitions, I must blog constantly on this and other sites before little Jake is ready to come out and play again.

Jake HUSSEIN D...
Jake HUSSEIN D....

Posted by: JakeD | July 1, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Money doesn't win elections alone. You have to have ideas!

The biggest issue is the economy and the both candidates seem to have rather weak backgrounds. Very scary! Many of their policies are absolutely absurd :(

http://www.beyondthemargin.net/2008/07/european-inflation-has-dire.html

Posted by: Jimmy | July 1, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, many of my friends at high school, reacting to Republican racist propaganda, have informally changed their middle names to 'Hussein.' I asked one of them, who is a senior, why he did it, and he said "To protest ignorant smallminded racists who deliberately ignore other aspects of Obama's campaign and life to focus on the most childish insult possible." Then today I was online doing research for a term paper and found this blog. I have read it before, and I have noticed that you always emphasize "HUSSEIN" in capital letters when referring to Obama. Are you an ignorant, small-minded racist? And if not, why else could you possibly feel it was necessary to do that? I am majoring in political science this fall at UVA, so I am interested in your answer.

Posted by: high school HUSSEIN | July 3, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Even with a head start McRocky has never come in first , except for first to leave the Hanoi Hilton. Wonder how he managed that? John & Cindy are living proof it takes a little more than Affirmative Action. It's called work ethics,and a desire to be the best.When they were at the Academy and USC,what did they Lead except the pledge to the flag and maybe the a Morning prayer.( my bad Cindy was a Cheerleader Not the Captain) To have these two leading America into the 21st Century , would be a McJoke.
McRocky and McParis

Posted by: rentamob | July 3, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama Reneges on Public Financing

Whatever his choice is, it needs to be respected. There are far more to many critical concerns surrounding our country at stake then to stagnate such a minut concern at present. Get a life and let's move forward towards enbettering our life and country that we may eliminate such and move forward towards a better future for all in all concerns. I amongst millions support the Obama campaign with whatever we tends to contribute. Should you want to donate, please feel free, it is a worthy cause. OBAMA 08!

Posted by: Nisey01 | July 4, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm a republican, voteing Obama. I won't go into the many reasons for this. I will say Mccain would not be standing by his admission to use public funding, and even tried to get out of it folks. But, the man didn't understand the FCC rules, like he doesn't understand so much of whats going on around him. He secured a loan useing that Public Finance money long ago as colateral. So now he's stuck by the rule of law to Use Publlic Finance. A huge mistake on his part.One of many mistakes, I can say he's made. That didn't stop them from finding loop holes in the pulic finance to allow Mr. Mccain to use his wifes millions to promote his campagne. He found loop holes to use her private plane. That there alone saved him millions of dollars this last year. He found loop holes to have her fill up that plane for him out of her pockets for over a year. There is more millions of dollars. Well Obama wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth and niether was his wife. They couldn't do that. So Mccains found ways and loop holes to get a unfair advantage by still useing Public Financeing, that the Obama could not have used if he optieded for Public Financeing himself. So yes, the system is broken in many ways to benefit those who are able to sneak in their own millions for their own campagne(If the candidates has millions and millions to use of their own money). So I say let the play ground be even steven.Mccain can use the loop holes and his wifes own planes,gas and etc. And Obama will use the money he raised from us small public donors to his campagne, and save the country those Public moneys!

Posted by: alberta treaddway | July 7, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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