Sen. Barack Obama’s fundraising advantage is giving him a tremendous edge over Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Take the commonwealth of Virginia, and these stats from ABC News’ deputy political director Karen Travers:
In that one battleground, Obama has 50 campaign offices to McCain’s 24.
Obama has 200 paid staffers in the state, McCain has 50.
Obama is spending $250,000 a day on TV ads in the state, while McCain is spending $30,000 a day.
This fundraising advantage comes directly as a result of Obama’s abandonment of his pledge to enter into the public financing system, a system creating to squelch the influence of money in presidential politics.
And while Obama’s campaign can rightly claim an unprecedented number of donors, and myriad small donations, it has also refused to abide by principles of full disclosure — it does not provide the public with the names of any donors who have given less than $200, for instance.
And amidst legitimate inquiries about some of that money coming (illegally) from non -U.S. citizens, and some of that money being given — in aggregate — in excess of individual contribution limits, one wonders why it is that the Obama campaign feels this refusal to inform the public where all its money is coming from in any way squares with Obama’s claim to be a reformer.
Just as it’s tough to envision a world where it’s the Obamas who have an unmarried pregnant teenage daughter and conservative pundits are celebrating that fact and demanding that the girl be given privacy, it’s tough to imagine a scenario where the media allows McCain to tiptoe away from his campaign finance pledge, untrammeled, and then drown his opponent in cash, the donors for much of which are undisclosed.