Chicago Sun-Times
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Sweet: Obama spells out conditions for taking public financing as McCain says he is waffling on pledge.


DALLAS, TEXAS--After he launched his presidential bid, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said he would take public financing for his campaign if the Democratic nominee if his GOP counterpart agreed to do the same. At the time, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he would and now he has emerged as the Republican presumptive nominee. Obama was asked to re-affirm his pledge. He declined.

Obama does not like work on the timetable of someone else. But his hestitancy to speak out left him open to criticism from McCain and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) that he broke his pledge

In an op ed the Wednesday USA Today, Obama spelled out his conditions for taking public financing. LINK

Obama wrote, "I propose a meaningful agreement in good faith that results in real spending limits. The candidates will have to commit to discouraging cheating by their supporters; to refusing fundraising help to outside groups; and to limiting their own parties to legal forms of involvement. And the agreement may have to address the amounts that Senator McCain, the presumptive nominee of his party, will spend for the general election while the Democratic primary contest continues."


Get facts straight. It wasn't a "pledge". See the Daily dish.

I think Obama is hesitating because; no one (including him) could have predicted how successful his fundraising would turn out to be, and agreeing to public financing only helps McCain-if you have an advantage,(in this case it's raising cash) why give it up?

Despite his obvious advantage in raising campaign money, I think it will look good on Obama if he will use public financing instead during the general election in November. It will bolster his reputation as a different kind of candidate. But he should also enter into an agreement with his opponent, to make sure clear rules are set, afterall, there are a lot of 527s lurking around and ready to pounce.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 20, 2008 12:53 PM.

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