Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Obama Flip Flops on Super Pac Donations

"The easiest thing in the world is to talk about change in an election year." - Barack Obama , 2007. He was lambasting rival John Edwards during the Democratic presidential candidate primary as he made that statement.

Listen for yourself:

Why is this interesting today, all this talk of outside money and campaigns? Well, flip-flopper in chief, President Barack Obama, has decided to let the big dogs out and signed on to raking in some major donations courtesy of Super Pacs. You remember the 2007-2008 election cycle, don't you? That was a wonderful time of a very sanctimonious newby going from campaign event to campaign event - instead of serving out his very first term in the U.S. Senate after arriving from the Illinois state legislature - telling audiences that he would bring about all that hope and change to our lives.

Barack Obama rode into the Oval Office after raising the most money, ever, while all along pretending to be opposed to big money in politics. C'mon. He's from Chicago, for heaven's sake. He even "historically" chastised the Supreme Court of the United States in his 2011 State of the Union address because he didn't agree with the Citizens United ruling. While rarely is anything this president does truly historic, though his people want you to think every move he makes is historic, that slur in his speech was something never done before. So, kudos for that bit of classless discourse, Mr. President.

Now, as his comeuppance, Obama is relenting and admitting he needs the Super Pac money, too. See, if he needs it, it's ok. And, while he's agreeing to it, he blames the Republicans. We've seen all of this finger pointing before.

Obama says he "deserves" a second term as president, you see. Like a true Democrat, Barack Obama feels entitled to what he wants in life.

During a pre-Super Bowl interview Sunday, NBC's Matt Lauer reminded the president that three years ago, in an interview before the 2009 Super Bowl, Obama had said that without an economic turnaround he'd likely be a one-term president. "So, do you deserve a second term?" Lauer asked.

“I deserve a second term, but we’re not done,” Obama replied.

Unfortunately, he thinks he's done such a bang up job that he needs the chance to do even more.

And, yes, this, too is the fault of Republicans, in the minds of Team Obama.

Writing in a blog post e-mailed to the president's supporters, Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina said outside organizations known as super PACs have already raised tens of millions of dollars for Republican presidential candidates, thanks in large part to a change in campaign finance rules that allowed uncapped contributions. If it wanted to keep up, he said the Obama campaign needed to "face the reality of the law as it currently stands" and support its own outside group, Priorities USA Action.

"With so much at stake, we can't allow for two sets of rules in this election whereby the Republican nominee is the beneficiary of unlimited spending and Democrats unilaterally disarm," Messina said. "Therefore, the campaign has decided to do what we can, consistent with the law, to support Priorities USA in its effort to counter the weight of the GOP super PACs."

The decision is a significant reversal for the president, who had campaigned vigorously against the outside groups during the 2010 midterm elections. Obama had slammed them as tools of special interests corrupting the political system, citing claims they might be using foreign money to fund their operations.

President Obama didn't have the backbone to announce his reversal in thought about Super Pacs so his to campaign guy blogged about the decision. There is some real leadership for you.

Though legally the president and vice president are not allowed to coordinate with the Super Pac they are endorsing - Priorities USA - it is run by former staffers.

The group, run by former White House officials Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, already had close ties to the campaign, even if legally it can't coordinate with it. But Monday's announcement amounts to an official endorsement of the group, sending a signal to deep-pocketed Democratic donors that the campaign wants them to chip in.

The campaign manager wrote that Obama still opposes the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which combined with a series of subsequent court orders in early 2010, dramatically altered the country's campaign finance landscape, and that he would go so far as a supporting a constitutional amendment to rein in political spending.

But the decision gives the president's Republican opponents fodder to criticize him for endorsing a system that he castigated less than two years ago, especially in light of Obama's 2008 decision to forgo public funding after vowing to accept it.

And why was this announcement and plea for money from supporters done in the first place out of the blue Monday? Maybe to take away some focus on the return of big money contributions from an unsavory Mexican gambling supporter? The family of a Mexican fugitive?

Why the sudden reversal? The Obama campaign didn't say outright, but Politico is reporting that insiders said it was to "offset negative publicity" generated by this New York Times story about the family of a Mexican fugitive who donated to the Obama campaign.

That wouldn't have been the reason for the timing of the announcement, would it?

Karma. It's a bitch.

No comments: