You’re thinking, “We already knew this, didn’t we?” Not exactly. What we knew is that Obama’s prone to running weaselly, holier-than-thou ads about his opponents being in the tank for big oil even though he himself is rolling in dough from oil company employees. He tried it on Hillary in the primary and got a care package from FactCheck.org and a 30-second rebuttal ad from the Clinton campaign for his trouble. As Ed once said when writing about some of the fundraisers organized for him by oil executives, “Obama lies about this in a particularly bald manner.” Which brings us to McCain, whose running mate this year is the Exxon Corporation if the DNC is to be believed. Maverick does take more oil money than Obama does overall (three times as much, although the two were roughly even last year per CRP’s graph), but the walls of the house from which The One casts his stones are glassier than he’d have you believe:
Through June, Exxon employees have given Obama $42,100 to McCain’s $35,166. Chevron favors Obama $35,157 to $28,500, and Obama edges out McCain with BP $16,046 vs. $11,500. McCain leads the money race with nearly every other top giver in the oil and gas industry, though — Koch Industries, Valero, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, the list goes on. (You can see detail on all these companies in the spreadsheet linked below.) McCain also has a big edge with Hess Corp. — $91,000 to Obama’s $8,000 — which has gotten some attention. And, overall, McCain’s campaign has gotten three times more money from the industry than Obama’s has — $1.3 million compared to about $394,000.
Comparing Obama’s and McCain’s financial ties to the oil industry, there’s no question that McCain has benefited more from the industry’s contributions, just as his Republican Party has for years and years. But Obama’s edge with the oil producers Americans know best — and might be cursing most these days — makes it harder for him to continue to tar McCain as the industry’s darling.
CRP speculates that at least part of the spike in oil contributions to McCain this year derives from him coming around to a position that 69 percent of the public supports. Exit question via McCain himself, speaking at a town hall today in Ohio: If he’s such a tool of the oil industry, why did he vote against the 2005 energy bill that gave billions in handouts to oil companies while Obama voted for it? Surely Maverick’s not suggesting that The One is comfortable with special interests, is he?
Update: Geraghty flags a nifty microcosm of Obama’s hypocrisy on this subject. He wants to run ads attacking oil companies … with help from gas-station owners.
Update: Jeff Dobbs adds a dollop of nuance to the Exxon logo.