Time and Politico: Obama Sets Up Argument Against Public Financing

From Mark Haleprin, via ABC:

“We have created a parallel public financing system where the American people decide if they want to support a campaign they can get on the Internet and finance it, and they will have as much access and influence over the course and direction of our campaign that has traditionally reserved for the wealthy and the powerful.”

It makes sense for Obama to try to back away from the pledge. One of the main advantages of democrats this election cycle is the enormous financial advantage they have. With Obama’s fund raising during the primary he stands to gain a big advantage.

However, calling it like it is, this is a HUGE flip flop on Obama’s part. One of my rules of thumb for determining when a broken pledge is a big deal is if a politician makes a pledge for political advantage and then breaks it when it becomes convent. It’s pretty shady how Obama will say one thing to sharpen his liberal “street cred” and then do another thing to gain political advantage. It’s very disingenuous.

But the fact of the matter is that this is the sort of thing that happens in Washington. It’s the nature of politics. But the problem, once again, is that the alleged candidate of change is showing that he’s absolutely no different than the politics of old that he decries every day. People need to hold their politician accountable regardless of how messianic they believe he is.

ON PUBLIC FINANCING VERSUS “DONOR FINANCING”

Donor netroots based financing is great. Duh. Given our current campaign financing rules, I hope that small donor fundraising becomes a bigger part of politics. It’s clearly been one of the great accomplishments by the democratic party during this primary. HOWEVER, all politics aside, a publically financed system with a cap on total expenditures is a much more preferable system.

While this election cycle has been historic, we can’t assume it will be the norm. Public interest in elections goes up and down and more importantly the publics willingness to fund campaigns through donations is even more fickle. Presidential campaigns are expensive and candidates will always seek to get as much money as possible. This is the reason why even barack obama accepts money from state lobbyists and friends/family members of lobbyists.

More importantly the problem with public financing as it is currently isn’t just raising enough money for campaigns to operate, its also a way of getting major corporations and questionable big dollar donors OUT of the system. Having a lot of money is great, but it doesn’t guarantee victory. And as passionate as some are about “clean” fundraising most people don’t care enough to make it a primary voting issue. In other words, I don’t want to get stuck with a uber corporate politician because the small dollar candidate lost. (this election and beyond) This is a historic opportunity to make a substantial progressive change to the campaign finance system and we’d be foolish if we blew it for one candidate.

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Bob and Weave Obama on Vote by Mail

It is the height of hypocrisy that the exact same people who were ready to riot on the street during the debacle in Florida during the 2000 election are the same people who are denying Michigan and Florida’s right to vote. But what’s even worse is that many of these people, Obama supporters no doubt, are stonewalling efforts for Florida and Michigan to stage a re-vote.

When democrats in Florida began serious negotiations to do a mail in primary the Obama campaign argued that allowing voting by mail was dangerous and undesirable. Of course this is the same Barack Obama who co-sponsored The Universal Right To Vote By Mail Act”, “which declares that NOT ALLOWING mail in voting in every state disenfranchises voters”.

AP: Dems Can’t Win Without Superdelegates

This narrative is finally starting to hit the media. For all the talk some people have had about Clinton being “unable” to catch up to Obama in pledged delegates; and for all the talk of Clinton trying to “undermine democracy” by pointing to superdelegates, the truth of the matter is NEITHER democratic candidate is going to achieve the 2,025 delegates necessary to secure the party nomination.

Clinton Ba-rack’s Obama

Despite being outspent 3 to 1 or even 4 to 1 by some estimates Hillary Clinton has won the states of Texas, Ohio, and RI. Even better, Clinton walloped Obama by double digits in Ohio, meeting the lofty expectation of the Obama campaign. Quite the rebuke of Obama who, much like the Chicago Cubs, can’t close.

Marc Ambinder sums it up nicely

The basic argument they are putting forward: Three times, Democrats have been the opportunity to consign Hillary Clinton to the dustbin of history. Three times, they’ve given her new life. Just…just… just forget about the math. Forget about the numbers. Look at the big picture. Focus on Obama’s credentials. Focus on the fact that he is not winning a lot of the, well, industrial, big, old-line, mainline Democratic states. Put all the chips on Ed Rendell’s command of Pennsylvania and then Puerto Rico. Hope to win big. Hope that the superdelegates use PA as the proxy for their decision. Fast forward seven weeks…

Was Tuesday a rebuke to Obama?

Absolutely.

Obama’s Poor Afghanistan Judgement

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/obama-absent-at-afghanistan-hearings-2008-03-01.html

So apparently Barack Obama is critisizing Hillary Clinton for being briefed on the NIE instead of reading it, claiming that it reflects her “poor judgment” and that her vote “took our eye off of Afghanistan.”

But apparently Obama

A) Has never even been to Afghanistan

B) Intentionally skipped going to Afghanistan during his congressional envoy’s Iraq- Afghanistan tour. And

C) Worst of all, has skipped two out of the three Senate Foreign Relations Committee meetings on “a new strategy” for Afghanistan!

WOW…talk about a poor exercise of judgement. Not only did he take his eye off of Afghanistan, he never even had it there in the first place!

All of this in addition to the fact that Obama has held ZERO meetings as the chairman on the subcommittee in charge of European Affairs.

For those of you who don’t know, this subcommitte is responsible for important issues like NATO, key forces that play a role in Afghanistan, and US Turkish relations, which are important to things like the Turkish Invasion of IRAQ!

Way to go Barack way to go…

Obama’s Wink and Nod on NAFTA

UPDATE: Here’s the video

Per TPM

Within the last month, a top staff member for Obama’s campaign telephoned Michael Wilson, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, and warned him that Obama would speak out against NAFTA, according to Canadian sources.The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value.

But Tuesday night in Ohio, where NAFTA is blamed for massive job losses, Obama said he would tell Canada and Mexico “that we will opt out unless we renegotiate the core labour and environmental standards.”

Late Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Obama campaign said the staff member’s warning to Wilson sounded implausible, but did not deny that contact had been made.

“Senator Obama does not make promises he doesn’t intend to keep,” the spokesperson said.

Low-level sources also suggested the Clinton campaign may have given a similar warning to Ottawa, but a Clinton spokesperson flatly denied the claim.

I find it humorous that all of these protectionists that are on Obama’s side overlook the fact that Barack Obama is a strong proponent of Free Trade. On the other hand Hillary Clinton was never a supporter of NAFTA…oh but her husband was. Yeah thats not sexism… * rolls eyes *

Of course the people that falsely purport this “Billary” smear are the ones who say “Oh if you’re going to take credit for the good things of the Clinton admininstration you need to take responsibility for the bad.”, but then say “oh you’re not your husband” when ever Hillary makes a claim about experience or Clintonian politics that produced the most prosperous decade in 30 or 40 years.

Clinton critics need to make up their mind. You can either give her all of the good and the bad from the 90’s or none of the good or the bad from the nineties. I’m comfortable arguing in either framework