Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Serious about winning

The thing I like about Obama's decision to forgo public financing of his general election campaign is that it shows he's serious about actually winning the White House. I am sick and tired of fighting the good fight and losing. I want a President who'll call up Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and say, "Don't send me any more of this barely budged Bushist bullshit like FISA. I'll send it back to you in a Chicago second."

Based on the headline, I thought I was going to have to agree with David Gergen. Since he's one of the most self-fluffing Beltway blowhards, I was happy to find that his piece is full of little slaps and digs, not to mention inaccuracies and missing context (of course no credit to Washington outsider Howard Dean's 50-state strategy, which laid the groundwork for Obama's). So, after all, I don't have to say nice things about him and his sweet chum Cindy McCain.

Of course, it's not good that Obama had to reverse his previous pledge, and there has always been a little sniping at Republicans who diss public financing. Now the shoe is on the other foot, though, and Obama needs every advantage he can get. It's going to be a long and bitter campaign.

Yes, Obama's can rightly argue that his private campaign finance model of many, many small contributions is better reform than public financing. It's true. It's also a rationalization. In the impure business of politics, I can live with that. I can rationalize it.

Obama is going to need every cent he can lay his hands on. CNN characterizes his coming media campaign as "shock and awe", but he'll be facing guerrilla warfare from the Scaifes, the Pickenses, and all the other scurrilous wingnut manipulators of public opinion. They don't care what lies they have to tell to keep their boys in power. It'll take a lot of slapping to slap those bastards down.

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