June 23, 2008
All politicians change positions. Some do it on minor issues. Others do it because conditions change. And some do it strictly for pragmatic and self-indulgent reasons.
I offer the following in the latter category. Barack Obama has said repeatedly he intended to accept public financing of his presidential campaign. He said last year and as recently as eight weeks ago that the financing system was broken. But now that Obama has raised record amounts of money, he says he is opting out of the public money which is a mere $80 million, along with its restrictions.
Obama turned his once high-minded principles into a fundraising letter to supporters, saying because he is now declining public funding, he needs more money from his public. Last November, Obama said he would accept public funding because “I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns.” Eight weeks ago, he said he would be very interested in a publicly-financed campaign. Now he’s flipped.
John McCain has flipped on some issues, too. It just proves you can’t fully trust a politician – not any of them – but Obama’s flip is a major one.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.