Everything old is new again

Barack Obama opts out of public financing and Fred Hiatt writes:

BARACK OBAMA isn’t abandoning his pledge to take public financing for the general election campaign because it’s in his political interest. Certainly not. He isn’t about to become the first candidate since Watergate to run an election fueled entirely with private money because he will be able to raise far more that way than the mere $85 million he’d get if he stuck to his promise — and with which his Republican opponent, John McCain, will have to make do. No, Mr. Obama, or so he would have you believe, is forgoing the money because he is so committed to public financing. Really, it hurts him more than it hurts Fred Wertheimer.

Pardon the sarcasm.


Mr. Obama had an opportunity here to demonstrate that he really is a different kind of politician, willing to put principles and the promises he has made above political calculation.

It seems to me that Obama is being a different kind of politician by being the first Presidential candidate in thirty odd years to forgo public financing. That’s certainly "different".

Frankly I’m surprised that we have already reached the "it’s not fair!" portion of the campaign where journalists, who love a political horse race more than what’s good for the country, start complaining that the young guy is beating up on the old guy and that Obama should spot McCain a few strokes just to make it fair or interesting. These guys won’t be happy until Obama offers to tie one hand behind his back, and then later, they’ll mock him for doing it.

That’s how they roll.

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