Barack Obama's first move as the designated presidential Democratic candidate was sheer genius in its message. By ordering the Democratic National Committee to refrain from accepting loot from lobbyists or PACs, Obama set the tone for his campaign which is about change. It is the change that people want. America has been put up for sale and the buyers have ruled. The past eight years have been particularly problematic in terms of the harm that has been caused to the public by politicians accepting money, big money, from interest groups. But the Republicans are by no means alone in their efforts to sell their political souls for the barrels and barrels of shekels and, in this area, Hillary Clinton was particularly tone deaf, as was her husband.
Now an even greater message must accompany this first move. Obama must go back to one of his original campaign pledges and agree to limit campaign expenditures to public financing. In my blog of Feb. 16, 2008 (Illusions or Delusions) I wrote
"Thus, it was refreshing to hear that Obama made a pledge to accept only public financing if he became the Democrats' candidate. Fast forward to the present and he now suggests that this pledge to limit his campaign expenses was only a potential option. The reason for the double take is obvious. He has demonstrated a unique ability to develop huge amounts of cash and that massive influx of money has played no small role in his anticipated win over Clinton who has been recently forced to put $5 million of her own money up to shore up her campaign. John McCain, as did Obama, has likewise pledged to limit himself to the receipt of public funding if he became the Republican candidate so if Obama were to hold true to his pledge, a historic moment could occur in American politics. Both sides would be playing by the same set of rules.
"The Obama pledge, among other positions he has carved out, helped create the illusion of him that strikes such a responsive chord in the hearts of Americans. The crux of his campaign message is change. The people of America want someone who says what he/she means at the helm of their country. They want someone who can stand on principle, even if on occasion there might be disagreement about the nature of the principle. That very concept is the reason for the broad appeal of both McCain and Obama."
My observations in February have even greater urgency today as week after week, we have received news about the negative impact on this country of a variety of industries whose negative conduct, fueled by massive political contributions, have steadily eroded confidence in our country, both here and abroad.