You may have heard that Wednesday night Barack Obamawill be on five different TV networks speaking directly to the Americanpeople. He bought 30 minutes of airtime from the differentnetworks, a very expensive purchase. But hey, he can afford it. BarackObama is loaded, way more loaded than John McCain, way more loaded thanany presidential candidate has ever been at this stage of the campaign. Justto throw a number out: He has raised well over $600 million since thestart of his campaign, close to what George Bush and John Kerry raisedcombined in 2004. Without question, Obama has set the bar at newheight with a truly staggering sum of cash. And that is why as weapproach this November, it is worth reminding ourselves what BarackObama said last November.
One year ago, he made a promise. Hepledged to accept public financing and to work with the Republicannominee to ensure that they both operated within those limits.Then it became clear to Sen. Obamaand his campaign that he was going to be able to raise on his own farmore cash than he would get with public financing. So Obama went backon his word.
He broke his promise and he explained it by arguingthat the system is broken and that Republicans know how to work thesystem to their advantage. He argued he would need all that cash tofight the ruthless attacks of 527s, those independent groups like theSwift Boat Veterans. It's funny though, those attacks never reallymaterialized.[...]
The courageous among Obama's ownsupporters concede this decision was really made for one reason, simplybecause it was to Obama's financial advantage. On this issuetoday, former Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, an Obama supporter, writesin The New York Post, "a hypocrite is a person who puts on a falseappearance of virtue -- who acts in contradiction to his or her statedbeliefs or feelings. And that, it seems to me, is what we are doingnow."
For this last week, Sen. Obama will be rolling in dough.His commercials, his get-out-the-vote effort will, as the pundits havesaid, dwarf the McCain campaign's final push. But in fairness, you haveto admit, he is getting there in part on a broken promise.