February 22, 2008

McCain's problems of his own making.

Posted by me on that other blog:
MCCAIN WANTS OUT OF THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE SYSTEM he's responsible for and finds it's not so easy. Amusingly, McCain is arguing that he has a constitutional right to get out.

MORE: "'We never claimed that the matching funds were collateral for the loan,' says McCain lawyer Trevor Potter. 'This was all a hypothetical future transaction.' (We wish we could get bank loans like that.)" The WSJ is aptly smirky: "We suppose we can't blame Mr. McCain for trying to make the finance rules work for him, but it'd be nice if he finally admitted their embarrassing folly."

16 comments:

John Thacker said...

It's slightly unfair to say that it's the campaign finance system that he's responsible for, but only slightly. After all, McCain-Feingold didn't affect the public financing system at all; it only affected one's ability to raise money and spend if you opt out of it. In fact, by raising the hard limits but not raising the public funding, it made it even more likely that candidates would reject public funding.

That said, the bill with his name on it was the last major change to the entire system, even if he had nothing to do with the public funding per se.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

I'm a solid McCain backer, but I share the WSJ's pleasure in watching him be hoist by ... if not his own petard, certainly his favoured petard...

JDAXC said...

When Campaign Finance bubbled-up, a lot of conservatives claimed that the reforms would give the MSM a tremendous amount of more power prior and during elections.
Now, look at what we have today!
The 2 media darlings are front and center heading into the general election with one of the darlings, not surprisingly, already falling out of favor.
One day media darling, next day media dupe.

Roger said...

I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning. And its corollary: the law of unintended consequences.

Simon said...

Echo Ben. Oh, this is good. I mean, this is so very very delicious that it's almost worth losing for. Almost. How are those just desserts, John? Bitter, I hope. Alas, if only you didn't have to drag us down with you...

Original Mike said...

No sympathy whatsoever.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Simon --

We won't necessarily lose on it. I'm of the view that money matters much less in the generals, because there's so much free media and because the blogs and the 527s have such an influential role.

And even in the primaries... compare the budgets of John McCain and Mitt Romney.

No, I just see this as an object lesson for potential president John McCain, and something I hope he remembers later on.

What'll matter is whether McCain can come up with a good narrative about his differences with Barack Obama. The Wisconsin victory speech was a great start.

Invisible Man said...

How dumb do you have to be to run afoul of a law with your own name on it? I'm not sure that the younger blondie story is going to hurt him much, but its going to be hard to hold Obama to that pledge about public financing now that he has already seemingly tried to have it both ways with his own law. Not a very auspicious start to a campaign.

RightWingNutter said...

Is that snickering I hear from over where Russ Feingold is standing?

rdkraus said...

I'm happy to give him all of the sympathy he deserves.

Original Mike said...

Ann, since you're playing Glenn, shouldn't you have commented with a simple "HEH"?

Middle Class Guy said...

Ah, just like Clinton. The rules are the rules, unless they apply to me!

Finn Kristiansen said...

So I guess we are saying that McCain should have been aware that lacking a six member quorom, FEC could not rule on his withdrawal request?

But even had he paid attention, how does one work around the deadlock between Bush and Congress? And isn't a law rather badly made when the staff on hand cannot handle the business under their jurisdiction?

I don't know if I would totally fault him over that. Now the loan, that's another issue entirely, and it's amazing how the accusers in this campaign have had their words boomerang.

Eli Blake said...

John Thacker:

McCain-Feingold also restricts when independent political action committees can run 'issue ads' that mention a candidate by name, to not within sixty days prior to an election. It doesn't cover 527's (which were the next step in the evolution of the ongoing battle between people who have wealth and want power and people who have power and are scared of wealth) but it will put a crimp in the ability of organized groups that might support McCain (e.g. business groups or anti-abortion groups) to pick up the slack and spend money on his behalf if he is unable to.

Ben (The Tiger) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben (The Tiger) said...

Here's what McCain (& other legislators, and some judges) should have known: anytime you put what should be constitutionally protected under a layer of bureaucratic review, you will end up restricting it, and there will be unintended consequences that your oh-so-reasonable restrictions weren't intended to cause.

So... heh.