November 3, 2008


What Happens to Public Financing, When Obama Thrived Without It? (MICHAEL LUO, 11/03/08, NY Times)

Democrats, in particular, who have traditionally supported limits on campaign spending, are grappling with whether they can embrace Mr. Obama’s example without being seen as hypocritical. They are keenly aware that they have developed through the Internet a commanding fund-raising advantage over Republicans, much like the direct mail money machine that conservatives used to lord over them.

“I think there is going to be tremendous reluctance on our side to yield any of that advantage,” said Tad Devine, a senior strategist for Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004.

Bob Kerrey, a Democratic former senator from Nebraska who serves as an honorary chairman of a group that fights for public financing of federal races, wrote an opinion article in The New York Post last week in which he confessed to newfound ambivalence on the issue in light of Mr. Obama’s success among small donors and the energy he had seen in the election this year.

Mr. Kerrey said in an interview that part of his change of heart might indeed be because the existing system was benefiting Democrats, and he said he believed that many others in his party were wrestling with the issue anew because of the changed calculus. But he added that Mr. Obama’s army of small donors had altered the terms of the debate, causing him to believe that he had been wrong about the need for such limitations.

“I think the reformers’ arguments have been substantially undercut by the facts on the ground,” Mr. Kerrey said.

Why does the Right think Democrats will risk the MSM being forced to air conservative viewpoints?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 3, 2008 11:28 AM
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