Take the job not the money

It is a shame when the only way to stop gross use of public funds is indignity instead of your own moral compass. Since the 1970s, public funding of presidential campaigns has been a rite of passage. We are reading that neither President Barack Obama nor any of the leading 2012 Republican contenders are expected to accept federal matching funds and the limits they impose. It turns out this year they think it is a scarlet letter on your campaign. If a candidate does try to take public money to finance a presidential campaign this year they are likely to be called out for it. There are two things at play first of all President Obama’s record-breaking fundraising in the 2008 campaign is now the new model as it allowed him to abandon the public system in both the Democratic primaries and the general election. The other is Washington is well aware of how the country now looks at the way they spend money and getting on the wrong side of that issue was the end of many political careers in the 2010 election. The scary part is this president, who will have no Democratic primary race, may become the first candidate to raise $1 billion for the general election in 2012.

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