McCain to Obama: I know you're not going to break our deal by raising money for the general election, right?

Would the triumph of word over flesh lie?

Most of you ignored this post last week but it’s going to be Maverick’s first line of attack against The Lamb so catch up now. Nutshell: Obama kinda sorta promised early last year that he’d accept public funding for the general in lieu of going out and raising his own funds. Now that he’s got a money machine, his view of that pledge has become increasingly nuanced. McCain knows he’s going to weasel out of it but it’s an easy early way to knock his authenticity and alleged commitment to a new brand of politics.

Here’s the money quote from Obama’s USA Today op-ed that McCain references. What does this mean?

As USA TODAY has critically observed, outside groups have come to spend tens of millions of dollars “independently,” while the candidates they favor with these ads “wink and nod” at this activity. There is an even greater risk of this runaway, sham independent spending now that the Supreme Court has wrongly opened the door to more of it in a recent decision.

I propose a meaningful agreement in good faith that results in real spending limits. The candidates will have to commit to discouraging cheating by their supporters; to refusing fundraising help to outside groups; and to limiting their own parties to legal forms of involvement. And the agreement may have to address the amounts that Senator McCain, the presumptive nominee of his party, will spend for the general election while the Democratic primary contest continues.

Note: not refusing fundraising help from outside groups but refusing help to them. Which I take to mean 527s are encouraged to raise money and chip in so long as they do so without any formal assistance from the campaign. Limiting the DNC and RNC to “legal” fundraising isn’t much by way of concessions either. Exit question per last week’s post: This is option number 4, isn’t it?