Another Obama flip-flop: Campaign raising “soft money” from big donors

posted at 11:20 am on August 16, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Can anyone remember a reform pledge Barack Obama hasn’t broken?  First, he insisted that he would remain within the public-financing system, as late as February, then suddenly pronounced it “broken” when Obama didn’t want to stay within its spending limits.  Next, his campaign went “negative” first against John McCain when he had pledged to eschew such advertising.  Now Barack Obama and his team have begun raising millions of dollars in “soft money” from unions and PACs despite his sanctimonious depredation of such donations just two months ago:

Facing a large deficit in the Democratic National Convention budget, officials from Barack Obama’s campaign have begun personally soliciting labor unions and others for contributions of up to $1 million. In exchange, donors could get stadium skyboxes for Obama’s acceptance speech and other perks.

Obama has regularly criticized politicians seeking large donations outside the framework of campaign finance regulations — so-called soft money — while touting the virtues of relying on small donations.

But campaign officials last month reluctantly decided they had to take a hand in raising large donations from individuals, unions and corporations. Some of the donors get special bundles of perks, including use of the party suites at Denver’s Invesco Field, as well as special policy briefings by Obama advisors, choice hotel rooms and party invitations.

What caused the shift was evidence that the Denver Host Committee was having trouble raising the estimated $60 million in cash and in-kind contributions needed to fund the convention, which runs Aug. 24-29.

Oh, okay, I get it — principles are essential only when one doesn’t need cash.  Otherwise, the principles go right out the door, along with promises, and especially the sanctimony.  For a taste of that sanctimony, watch his announcement on June 5th of this year:

The Democratic National Committee will uphold the same standard: We will not take a dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. … They will not fund my party!

Unless we need the money.

Who did Obama call to “fund his party”?

  • The SEIU, to get another $500,000
  • AFSCME, which refused to donate more
  • American Federation of Teachers

In addition, the Los Angeles Times reports that the move to Invesco Field may be more about hauling in soft money than creating great optics.  Obama’s speech will allow the DNC to sell Invesco’s private boxes for a cool $1 million each, which they need to raise more money to cover the cost of the convention.  The DNCC had already reserved the Pepsi Center’s luxury boxes for other purposes.  Even with all of these new sell-out opportunities provided by Team Obama, the DNCC remains over $11 million short of their goals with nine days left.

The man who claims the reform mantle has not just repeatedly reneged on those promises, Obama has now commercialized his own acceptance speech to get money from the special interests and lobbyists against whom he inveighed in June.  Barack Obama seems determined to redefine the term “hypocrite” in 2008.


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Wa all know what we are. The only question is how much we charge for the act. Obviously, Obama is cheap.

unclesmrgol on August 16, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Oh, you silly Americans, it’s change you can believe in. You know that. If Obama changes his mind about anything, it’s change you can believe in. Because he changed his mind and thus the change that he’s changed his mind about is perfectly in line with his motto about change. Because it’s change and change is always good change because when you change your change, it’s a sign of mental flexibility.

Wow, that’s like a riddle wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a sports jacket.

mjk on August 16, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Anyone who is surprised about this ‘change’ should not be allowed to vote. My only surprise is that the LA Slimes is reporting on the story. I would have expected another massive coverup. Could the wheels be coming off of the BO Express?

rmgraha on August 16, 2008 at 11:28 AM

The Obama schtick gets more clownish by the day, yet there are still how many glassy-eyed millions swooning over which tie he chooses to wear?

This guy is turning out to be a huge joke, too bad the joke is being played on America.

Bishop on August 16, 2008 at 11:30 AM

Oh, okay, I get it — principles are essential only when one doesn’t need cash. Otherwise, the principles go right out the door, along with promises, and especially the sanctimony.

A principle not reserved to politics. How many Red Soxs (or Mets for that matter) fans hate the Yankees, call them the evil empire b/c of destroying purity with $, and yet applaud the same when done by own team.

Principles are malleable, it seems.

Spirit of 1776 on August 16, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Change with lots of zeros.

TroubledMonkey on August 16, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Maybe Obama could endorse a cigarette brand during his acceptance speech, that could bring in the $11M.

pedestrian on August 16, 2008 at 11:45 AM

I’d say since McCain flip-flopped on his promise to keep this campaign out of the gutter, Obama is free to do what he wants.

alphie on August 16, 2008 at 11:58 AM

$Change $you $can $believe $in.

Seixon on August 16, 2008 at 11:59 AM

When do we start to hear stories about thousands of folks allowed to attend the Invesco Field speech even though they didn’t do their “mandatory” volunteer shifts? You know, out of compassion for their busy schedules and all.

All is not well in DNC land. Mandatory volunteerism? Now begging, hat in hand, so they won’t lose massive amounts of money on their convention?

funky chicken on August 16, 2008 at 12:00 PM

alphie on August 16, 2008 at 11:58 AM

What are you talking about re:

Regardless, if you use one person’s alleged actions to justify another, you are setting a pretty low bar.

Spirit of 1776 on August 16, 2008 at 12:00 PM

re: gutter I mean.

Spirit of 1776 on August 16, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Alphie = LOL.

Like I said, glassy-eyed zombies who don’t care that the Hopey Changey crap turned out to be…well…crap.

Bishop on August 16, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Jim Geraghty had it right when he said that all Obama campaign pledges come with an expiration date. It’s simply a matter of when.

JeffC_95 on August 16, 2008 at 12:07 PM

I don’t really care that much about Obama, Bishop…I just think John McCain is senile bordering on insane.

Anybody but McCain.

alphie on August 16, 2008 at 12:13 PM

I’d say since McCain flip-flopped on his promise to keep this campaign out of the gutter, Obama is free to do what he wants.

alphie on August 16, 2008 at 11:58 AM

So Obama’s “principles” are dependent on McCain’s behavior? Then those aren’t really “principles” at all, are they alphie?

AZCoyote on August 16, 2008 at 12:14 PM

alphie on August 16, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Mmmm hmmmm, yah. The senile old dude showing signs of incipient madness, yeah sure.

Bishop on August 16, 2008 at 12:20 PM

That idiot! Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to wait till after the election to break his promises?

backwoods conservative on August 16, 2008 at 12:23 PM

That idiot! Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to wait till after the election to break his promises?

He’s warming up the electorate for the inevitable let-down if he’s elected.

I just think John McCain is senile bordering on insane.

Examples? How about the candidate who practically did a victory lap in Europe, but can’t be bothered to stop body surfing to have an actual original opinion on the whole Georgia/Russia thing?

Accusing someone of being insane without any actual clinical proof (which is rather difficult considering the strict clinical indices for insanity) is simply a weak and childish response to the fact that people have no argument except “I don’t like him” and no reasoning.

mjk on August 16, 2008 at 12:37 PM

Why are black republicans, basically being ignored by the Media? We are supposed to believe, they are in lock step, based on what? As in Colin Powell will endorse Obama.

http://www.theminorityreportblog.com/

Dr Evil on August 16, 2008 at 12:37 PM

Seriously..when you’re Barack Obama..

What’s another lie?
What’s another flip-flop?
What’s another “evolved” position?

pathetic..just pathetic

galtg on August 16, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Obama has now commercialized his own acceptance speech to get money from the special interests and lobbyists against whom he inveighed in June.

Maybe Obama could endorse a cigarette brand during his acceptance speech, that could bring in the $11M.

pedestrian on August 16, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Now that he’s crossed this absurdly hypocritical line Obama should consider extending the Obama “brand” to other products just like the other celebrities do.

When I first saw his logo and art direction it occurred to me that his brand image was more that of a creamy shampoo than of a serious presidential candidate. But the leftists totally fell for it so he’s got some brand equity built up; if he’s willing to sell his credibility in exchange for a soft-money skybox then why not go all the way by grandly entering the arena of personal care products?

Imagine it now:
Barack Obama “No Sweat” Totally Cool Dude Underarm Antiperspirant
Tagline: Sweat Like a Metrosexual – Smell Like a Messiah!

Gilda on August 16, 2008 at 1:07 PM

“You will know them by their fruits.” Based upon what I’ve seen from both of these candidates, I’m choosing Option C- None of the Above.

Send_Me on August 16, 2008 at 1:15 PM

What really needs to happen is that the list of Groups buying boxes needs to be publicized… along with the amount they paid…

I think it would open a lot of eyes about the Obamaton.

Romeo13 on August 16, 2008 at 1:19 PM

Obama admits his coming of age mentor was a Communist:

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/4490

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/08/obama_admits_relationship_with.html

elduende on August 16, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Hillary can’t scrounge up enough cash to payoff her debts.
Has Hopey, Dopey, Changey helped?

The Dims can’t pay for their convention!
Wheres the beef? No-one wants to be force fed the P.C. enviro-terrorist slop demanded by the brainless Dems?

Sounds to me the like if the Dims can’t balance their own checkbook without shakedowns of unions and corporations they are:
1.) Living above their means
2.) can’t be trusted to balance their own checkbook then certainly can’t be trusted with the nations and
3.) Tell me again MSM how this is going to be a big Dem year with their finances in the toilet and a pack of flip, flopping, flounder, liars as candidates.

Where is drill nowhere San Fran Nan maybe she can halp! Or Maybe Jon Kary will open up the Heinz account or Teddy the Kennedy account!

Big year ahead indeed!

dhunter on August 16, 2008 at 1:24 PM

More and more I am becoming LESS concerned about Obama winning. Still, at the same time I’m trying not to become overconfident as that can simply give him the presidency.

Yakko77 on August 16, 2008 at 1:28 PM

How apropos given this weeks Russia Georgia activities:

“The admission that Obama’s mentor was Frank Marshall Davis, an identified CPUSA member, can only add to growing public concern about Obama’s relationship with a Communist pawn of Moscow who was the subject of security investigations by the FBI and various congressional committees which examined Soviet activities in the U.S.”

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/4490

elduende on August 16, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Follow the money.

Weebork on August 16, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Ted Kennedy doesn’t even remember who The Dali Bama is…

DfDeportation on August 16, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Based upon the June video, if he accepts PAC money does it follow that he then allows the PAC to run his White House?

Oleta on August 16, 2008 at 1:37 PM

How much do I have to pay to get some common sense?

Oh that’s right. They ran out of that years ago.

Mojave Mark on August 16, 2008 at 1:45 PM

I think Obama has flip flopped on EVERY position he has taken.

He has flip flopped waaay more times than John McCain….and I don’t call him changing his mind on drilling as flip flopping. Things are way different than before. Oils is way more expensive.

So next time I hear a leftie spouting their garbage on McCain..they’re getting an earful from me.

Obama is all about the money and power…he cares NOTHING about our country.

becki51758 on August 16, 2008 at 1:49 PM

It’s even worse than that. He doesn’t flip flop, he simply holds two contradictory positions simultaneously. Of course the drive-by media doesn’t call him on it.

When the drive-by’s become embarrassed by their own fawning over this moron then a few will break ranks. Think John Stossel from ABC and that ilk.

Mojave Mark on August 16, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Apparently principles take second seat to electing the only possible chance for racial reconciliation and repairing our image abroad.

If that requires aggravating the racial divide and denigrating our troops in a way that provides propoganda points for our enemies, oh well.

Hopefully that cognitive disonance is not infecting a large enough part of the electorate so that this tool gets elected.

aikidoka on August 16, 2008 at 2:35 PM

mjk 11:25am HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!

Can I use that in an email to my Obama loving friends?

Winebabe on August 16, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Principles are never essential with Obama, with or without a cash reward. However, a power reward? That’s different. That’s what it’s all about with Obama. Fates protect us!!

jeanie on August 16, 2008 at 3:31 PM

I’d say since McCain flip-flopped on his promise to keep this campaign out of the gutter, Obama is free to do what he wants.–alphie

Didn’t you read the post?

his (Obama’s) campaign went “negative” first against John McCain when he (Obama) had pledged to eschew such advertising.–Ed

jgapinoy on August 16, 2008 at 3:32 PM

I’ll have to go to my blog & add #26 to BO’s list of flips.

jgapinoy on August 16, 2008 at 3:34 PM

I pretty standard politics to accuse your opponent of doing exactly what you yourself are doing, jgap.

It’s fairly easy to see who is telling the truth these days, though…if you care about the truth, that is.

alphie on August 16, 2008 at 3:51 PM

The Democrats “buzz word” has been “Big Oil” we need to roll out the word “Big Wasteful Government”

Obama is for expanding Big Wasteful Government.

Chakra Hammer on August 16, 2008 at 4:09 PM

I love it when the puppet says: I have always said!

allrsn on August 16, 2008 at 4:55 PM

alphie on August 16, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Yes alphie it is a constant political maneuver for the socialist party. Remember Kerry and “Booshs secert draft plan” of 2004? lol its my favorite example of the lefts diversion tatics which are constant!!(how else can they dupe stupid people into voting for socialism???)

allrsn on August 16, 2008 at 5:02 PM

Without so many distinctions and restrictions, it seems that money for campaigns would be easier to raise. Under such circumstances, any given donor would be less influential on the Americans’ politics as a whole, because the donor’s contributions would be dwarfed by the total contributions of others, and the donor would be easily replaced or balanced by other donors.

Kralizec on August 16, 2008 at 9:31 PM

…his sanctimonious depredation of such donations…

I think Ed meant “deprecation.”

Kralizec on August 16, 2008 at 9:34 PM

I pretty standard politics to accuse your opponent of doing exactly what you yourself are doing, jgap.

How many flip-flops have I committed in this campaign, Alphie?
P.S. I agree with your second point.

jgapinoy on August 16, 2008 at 11:12 PM

Someone should mention that this flip-flop is likely related to Obama’s decision to reject public funding, which hasn’t turned out so well so far.

Karl on August 16, 2008 at 11:50 PM

Omama is “Change you can pull from your backups.”
 
{^_^}

herself on August 17, 2008 at 3:59 AM

But campaign officials last month reluctantly decided they had to take a hand in raising large donations from individuals, unions and corporations.

He’s wrong on many issues; but this at least shows how to get him to change his mind refine his position. Offer him cash (and sorry about the insinuation that he’s ever changed his position on anything, I know he hates that).

But does this really count as “a new type of politics”? Lying, and money-grabbing aren’t exactly the “new” politics I was led to expect.

gekkobear on August 17, 2008 at 7:03 AM

I pretty standard politics to accuse your opponent of doing exactly what you yourself are doing, jgap.

It’s fairly easy to see who is telling the truth these days, though…if you care about the truth, that is.

alphie on August 16, 2008 at 3:51 PM

As usual, the sheep that follow Obama will say “look over there,look what they are doing”,instead of addressing the fact that it is their candidate that is running on the platform of “Change” in how government is run.

Obama is showing that he is no different than any other politician who puts money first and will change his views based on polls.
This is clearly not leadership!!

Every time Obama gets up to speak and says he brings “Change” to business as usual in DC,he is flat out lying and
only brainwashed idiots are still buying this line.

Even some hardcore democrats are seeing this now:


Is This What It Means To Be An Obama “Progressive?”

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/8/13/17515/4808

But a new breed of Democrat and “progressive” is emerging. Glenn’s Greenwald’s interview with Mort Halperin allows us to coin a new phrase – a Halperin “Progressive.” What is a “Halperin” progressive? One who decides what the right position is for progressives based on what Barack Obama does. Glenn writes:
[T]here was only one meaningful change that occurred between Halperin’s June 9 opposition [to FISA Capitulation] and his July 8 support [for FISA Capitualtion]: namely, it was in that interim — on June 20 — that Barack Obama announced that he would support the FISA bill . . .

This sums up the weak,starry eyed liberal follower of Obama
nicely.

Obama can slap them in the face with hypocritical statements and broken promises all day long and they will raise their hands forming a big “zero” and chant
“Lead us o great one”
“lead us o great one”

right straight off a cliff.

Baxter Greene on August 17, 2008 at 8:05 AM

It’s worse than Obama flip/flopping or holding to contradictory positions at the same time. It’s his insinuation that such criticism and questions are racist, or lies or distracting from what’s important.

Apparently the condition of one’s character is not important in Obambi world.

aikidoka on August 17, 2008 at 12:05 PM