How Money Hurts Politics

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance ReformLeave a Comment

I’ve been swooning rather out-of-character for Barack Obama all day, which is why I find this from Matt Yglesius to be particularly disturbing:

If the [Democratic] party leaders had had their way, not only would Obama not have been delivering the keynote address at the convention, he wouldn’t be the party’s candidate for U.S. Senate at all. Plan A was to hand the nomination to Blair Hull, a millionaire who could have self-financed the race. That’s a recruiting tactic the party’s increasingly relied on since the early 1990s; as we saw last night, it can deprive the country of some of the most dynamic and committed public servants out there in exchange for bland nonentities like Herb Kohl. Money matters in politics and I wouldn’t suggest the Democrats try to ignore it, but this just brings home the need to expand the sort of fundraising success Howard Dean and John Kerry have had at the presidential level further down the ballot.

*Sigh*. There you have it: money and party politics often forces the best and the brightest to remain largely unknown or unheard of. Sometimes, I think Independents and Reformists really have the right idea . . .