The media’s going easy on Obama again (contrary to his bizarre suggestion here that the media has been going easy on McCain). This time it’s in relation to his incredible about-face on taking public financing. He and John McCain had made a deal (publicly announced at the time) that they would both take public financing, which is supposed to make the whole process fairer, more transparent and so on (if you’re into that kind of thing). Now he’s dumped the deal, without even talking to the McCain campaign about it first, something else they had promised to do.

The announcement was made in a video (available here on Obama’s website) to supporters. Under the video, the beg for additional funds comes under the heading, “Declare your independence from a broken system”. He just gets more audacious all the time, doesn’t he? The video thing is interesting – you can look at it from the cynical or non-cynical point of view. The cynical POV is that he did a video because when he says stuff people are swept along, but when you see the same words written down they leave you cold (apparently, it was the same with FDR). So when you have a tough message to get out, like this, you have the wonder-candidate speak it to camera instead of issuing a press release. The less cynical version is that he now needs to raise funds all the more, so they turned this into a beg for money, which is often delivered in this form. Which do you think it was?

Of course, Obama’s people have suggested that there was a negotiation with the McCain campaign, and they couldn’t come to an agreement, as per this CNN article:

Obama counsel Bob Bauer said Thursday he had met with Trevor Potter, his counterpart on the McCain team, on June 6 to discuss a possible joint townhall appearance later in the month, and that the two discussed the public funding issue for 45 minutes.

“I asked him to address a [series] of issues of concern to the Obama campaign–the McCain campaign’s active raising and spending of private money since February for a general election campaign, including for media, while we were still in the middle of a primary contest,” said Bauer in a statement. “He gave me his perspectives–the best arguments he could offer for an agreement on both sides to accept public financing–and it was clear to me that these offered no basis for any further exchange.”

The same article was subsequently updated to incorporate comment from the McCain campaign, as follows:

Trevor Potter disputed the Obama campaign’s account, telling CNN Thursday that he had met with Bauer on a completely unrelated subject, and that campaign financing had only been discussed in an abstract way.

“We then spoke in general terms about the public financing system, with Bob outlining reasons it could be considered ‘broken’ or irrelevant in 2008, and I explaining why Sen. McCain remained committed to it and thought it was good for the country,” said Potter.

“Other than this informal discussion, there have been no contacts between the two campaigns on the subject, and this discussion contained no negotiations or even offer to hold negotiations. I cannot begin to explain how the Obama campaign could twist my reiteration of Sen. McCain’s support of the system, and hope the two candidates would participate in it, into what they said today,” he added

“…An attempt to imply otherwise by any representative of the Obama campaign (and an attempt to turn an informal conversation between Bob Bauer and me into a discussion of negotiations between the campaigns) is a complete misrepresentation of the facts”

Another example of the man who talks so much about integrity in the process going against his own word and pursuing exactly the route to financing so derided by so many in his own party, and then lying about the circumstances until someone contradicts his version of events. Who knows where this will go next? So much for Obama’s “purity”.

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