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article imageObama Benefits From Private Campaign Financing

By Jason Li     Oct 19, 2008 in Politics
Presidential Candidate Barack Obama has raised more than $150 mil in September alone, an unprecedented amount. This is possible because he opted out of public financing.
While Sen John McCain has to limit himself to $84 million for the September to October period, Sen Barack Obama has little to worry about when it comes to campaign spending.
After all, for the month of September alone, he's raked in more than $150 million dollars. With the huge spending advantage, Obama can splurge on TV ads while McCain has to be more strategic.
For example, according to a NY Times graph, in the week of Oct. 12, 2008, Obama spent more than $30 million in TV commercials, while McCain spent less than a third of the amount.
This explains how Obama can spend more money than McCain in negative TV ads even though 100 percent of the latter's ads are negative. 34 percent of Obama's ads attack his rival.
This led McCain to remark in the last presidential debate that “Senator Obama has spent more money on negative ads than any political campaign in history”, in retaliation to Obama saying: “[McCain's] ads, 100 percent of them have been negative.”
According to AP, Obama's total funds now stand at $605 million. Initially, Obama agreed to public financing if McCain did too, but changed his mind after breaking fund raising records in the primaries.
Now, thanks to his campaign's deep pockets, Obama ads also appear in video games.
McCain has criticized Obama's move to private fund raising, saying: "[Obama is] completely breaking whatever idea we had after Watergate to keep the costs and spending on campaigns under control. ... That has unleashed now in presidential campaigns a new flood of spending that will then cause a scandal, and then we will fix it again."
In an Obama video, campaign manager David Plouffe explained the record breaking figures: "what's beneath the numbers in terms of average Americans who have had enough, who want a change and who are really fueling this campaign."
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