Financing (OR What about McCain?)

Sen. Obama declared yesterday that he will not accept public financing for the general election. In response, Sen. McCain’s campaign said this (via Ambinder):

Today, Barack Obama has revealed himself to be just another typical politician who will do and say whatever is most expedient for Barack Obama.

The true test of a candidate for President is whether he will stand on principle and keep his word to the American people. Barack Obama has failed that test today, and his reversal of his promise to participate in the public finance system undermines his call for a new type of politics.

Barack Obama is now the first presidential candidate since Watergate to run a campaign entirely on private funds. This decision will have far-reaching and extraordinary consequences that will weaken and undermine the public financing system

Not surprisingly, there hasn’t been much mention of the shenanigans that Sen. McCain has played with the public financing system.

McCain opting into public financing, accepted the spending limits and then profited from that opt-in by securing a campaign saving loan. And then he used some clever, but not clever enough lawyering, to opt back out. And the person charged with saying what flies and what doesn’t — the Republican head of the FEC — said he’s not allowed to do that. He can’t opt out unilaterally unless the FEC says he can.

I know the press is in Sen. McCain’s pocket, but seriously…  how long will it be before someone point out that all the attacks his campaign directs towards Sen. Obama also apply to Sen. McCain, and usually in greater measure? To paraphrase from above:

The true test of a candidate for President is whether he will accept the rule of law, and follow those rules, even when it is an inconvenience, just as the American people do.

Matt weighs in on this, too:

it shows that if you’re voting on the basis of “doesn’t play funny games with campaign finance law” you should back Obama.


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