During the runup to the general election Barack Obama received up to 120 endorsements from the nations newspapers. Many of them lauded his support of campaign finance reform. But now that he has opted out of public financing those same papers are a bit pissed.
Of the editorial boards that opined Friday about his breaking the pledge, most of those that endorsed him during the primary were aggressive in their criticism.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s called the decision “as disappointing as it is disingenuous,” while the Boston Globe’s wrote it “deals a body blow … to his own reputation as a reform candidate.” And The Baltimore Sun’s editorial called it “a major disappointment for those struggling to restrain the pernicious influence of special interests in American politics.”
The New York Times’ editorial board, which endorsed Clinton after allegedly leaning toward Obama, wrote that “Obama has come up short” of “his evocative vows to depart from self-interested politics.”
Obama attempted a preemptive defense of his new position by arguing that his massive base of small online donors constitute a “parallel public financing,” and that he needed to exit the program to defend himself from the independent spending of 527 groups, long a bugaboo of campaign finance reformers. Many editorial boards, though, have been outright dismissive of this argument.
The Washington Post opined that Obama’s “effort to cloak his broken promise in the smug mantle of selfless dedication to the public good is a little hard to take.”
And USA Today, which also did not endorse any candidates, said Obama put “expediency over principle,” was “disingenuous about his reasons for opting out of public financing” and proved he’s not a “real reformer.”
Kenneth Vogel notes that the newspapers didn’t criticize McCain as much when he used “the promise of receiving public financing in the primary election to secure a loan before deciding not to take the funds.”
But Hiatt told Politico that he doesn’t count McCain’s move as “in quite the same category” as Obama’s broken pledge.
“To be the first candidate to reject public financing in a general campaign, particularly after having argued that that wouldn’t be a good thing, is a fairly significant development,” he said.
Add in the fact that he personally assured many of these editors that he backed campaign finance reform and would follow through with his promise and you have some mighty angry editors.
Will they continue to ignore the mans many faults now?
We can only hope this will prove to them what most of us on the right have been saying for over a year now. He is a disingenuous, unprincipled, and inexperienced politician who isn’t qualified, much less deserving to be within 100 yards of the White House.