In choosing to forgo public financing for the general election campaign, Barack Obama calculated that the upside of being able to vastly outspend John McCain would outweigh the downside of being hit with charges that he had broken his word and was behaving like a typical pol. He’s betting that most voters won’t pay attention to what is essentially a process story.
But Matthew Dowd argues that Obama’s decision was unnecessary — and that he therefore has tarnished his own brand needlessly. A one-time Democratic strategist, Dowd, of course, helped steer George W. Bush’s campaigns in 2000 and 2004, then publically broke with Bush in April 2007. Dowd says “it was an error for Obama to choose tactics over truth,” and adds: “By the way, isn’t that exactly why most people in this country are upset at the current administration????”