McCain: You could make the argument that Obama's buying the election

$150 million in September, the equivalent of a Ron Paul “money bomb” every single day of the month (better than equivalent, actually). Don’t be surprised if he cracks $200 million in October, meaning he’ll have raised fully four times as much in the final two months as McCain got from public financing. Just in case you were wondering how he can afford a half-hour commercial in primetime on three of the four major networks.

Patrick Ruffini, atoning for an epic mistake last month in calling Obama’s decision to opt out an “epic mistake,” has a shrewd analysis of what it means. Maverick’s sounding the alarm here about public financing, but he’s too late: The Internet’s killed it and it’ll stay dead unless and until Congress raises the cap considerably from the current limit of $84 million. As for the election:

[W]hat does Obama do with the extra money? A three-to-one ad ratio in a given state is worth about a point in the polls. But that’s in states with at least a decent baseline of Republican advertising. What’s it worth in states where McCain can’t advertise at all, like North Dakota or Georgia? 3 or 4 points? Does Obama move into states at the fringes of the target map to 1) heighten the sense of panic in the GOP? and 2) go for 400 EVs? Can he legally bail out the committees to go for 270 in the House and 60 in the Senate?

Either way, this is going to be the political equivalent of Sherman’s March.

As for candidates buying elections, the media’s double standards have become so blatant that they’re almost not worth pointing out anymore. But here’s Mark Halperin dealing a little McCain-esque straight talk to Howard Kurtz, in case you need help connecting the dots.