The Hill reports that Representative Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), who is the head of the Republican Congressional campaign committee, (RCCC), says that Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill) decision not to accept Public campaign financing.
The comment was allegedly made by Cole, on the blog section of the Hill, a Washington D.C political journal.
Obama, last week, announced his decision not to accept the $8.5 million in public financing in the general election last week, and instead will choose to continue raising significant amounts of money, much of which comes from small donors. This is predicted by many to allow Obama a significant cash advantage over Senator and Republican Presidential candidate John McCain (R-AZ), who has been much less successful in fundraising due to a perceived lack of enthusiasm within the roots of the party about their nominee, a less Internet savvy campaign then that of Obama’s, and McCain’s decision to accept campaign financing.
In the past week, since Obama declined public financing, Republicans and the McCain campaign have derided Obama for “flip-flopping” and vacillation on the issue, since in the past Obama has supported campaign finance reform and in a 2007 questionnaire stated that he would accept campaign financing if his opponent would do the same in the general election.
The facts of the matter are simple enough. Obama made verbal and written promises to accept public financing in the general election campaign if his Republican opponent would agree to do the same. John McCain has indicated he will do so, even in the face of Obama’s reversal. So, in his first consequential decision since becoming his party’s nominee Obama chose to break his word to the American people. Richard Nixon would understand. Obama is betting that his liberal allies and the media will too.
It is not just the fact that Obama will now be the first major party presidential nominee since Watergate to opt out of public financing in the general election that should raise eyebrows — though it makes the Richard Nixon comparison even more compelling. In classic Richard Nixon style Obama chose to blame his reversal on his opponents than accept responsibility for the decision himself. Nixon always had some plausible sounding excuse to one up his opponents, to reverse his positions and to lower his standards. That excuse was the same one Obama chose to offer in defense of his recent reversal — political expediency.
And even as he betrays his own professed principals Obama promises in soaring rhetoric that once he is in office he will work to enact a real system of public finance. Those tactics are familiar to anyone who lived through the tragic presidency of Richard Nixon.
The real losers from Obama’s reversal will be the Democrats themselves. Just as in 1972 when Nixon chose to run a re-election campaign separate from the national campaign of the Republican Party, millions of dollars will flow to Obama as opposed to his party. Money that could help other Democrats will go to the already well-funded Obama campaign. And in the end it will not influence the presidential race. The outcome of the presidential contest will be determined by factors unrelated to money. Like Nixon in 1972 Obama may well win a great and historic victory. However, he may do so in a manner that shortens his coattails and limits the number of Democrats he elects with him.
MY TAKE: Just a few things I would like to point out. First off I am fine with people questioning any political candidate whoever they are, when they switch their stance on an issue. Any candidate whether they be seeking a seat on the local school board, or the highest office in the land, that of our nation’s presidency, should be questioned and should be transparent for all voters to see. Many don’t think Obama’s decision to forgo public financing and the restraints on spending that accompany it is not ethical, consistent, or wise.
Having said that, there are a few other things. First off, dude, you do know that Nixon was a Republican, right? A Republican often popular with much of the conservative base. Elected U.S Congressman, U.S Senator, twice Vice President, the parties 1960 presidential candidate, the 1962 California gubernatorial candidate, and twice the President, as a REPUBLICAN?
Plus, with the current administration’s parade of similarities with Nixon (including ex-Nixonites Cheney and Rumsfield in his inner circle), a disdain and reckless disregard for the U.S constitution and the liberties of the American people, a penchant for secrecy and a shortage of accountability inside the current administration of a president of Rep. Cole’s party, as well as the ethical and fundraising tangle that recently forced the former leader of Cole’s own party in the U.S House of Representatives, ex-House majority leader Tom Delay (R-TX) to resign and ultimately resign his seat; I would think he would want to keep the comparisons to Nixon at a minimum. After all, as the old cliche goes, “People in glass houses should not throw stones”. And as far as this situation, Mr Cole is not just in a glass house throwing stones, he mine as well be outside the glass house and naked hurling stones at a fortress, when it comes to comparing Obama to Nixon.
Thirdly, I don’t think Barack Obama has to worry about not winning alot of democratic seats in 2008 in the House and Senate. With a Republican President with ratings as low as 23% in some polls, and all indications signaling that Democrats will maintain if not strengthen their majority in the House and gain seats in the Senate, if elected he won’t have the problem Nixon had in 1968 and 72 when Nixon had solid Democratic majorities in both chambers of congress.
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