Commentary Magazine


Obama’s Donor Charade Begins Again

Back during the last round of Democratic presidential primaries in 2008, the Obama campaign disseminated the completely disingenuous claim that that it didn’t take money from special interest groups and lobbyists. Even after this was debunked time and time again, Obama continued to stand by it.

And now his campaign is pushing this falsehood yet again, according to a mass email it sent me this afternoon:

“We’re not just gathering donations here. We’re gathering people,” reads the email. “We didn’t get this far by doing things the usual way. Our campaign doesn’t take money from Washington lobbyists or special-interest PACs. We’re doing this the right way — with a whole lot of people like you taking the lead.”

This is complete nonsense. As anyone can see from Obama’s public disclosures, PACs were some of his top individual donors. And while he made a show about not accepting money from registered Washington lobbyists, he had no ban on taking money from organizations with in-house lobbying teams, state lobbyists, and law firms.

Obama was able to make these claims during the last election because he was largely given a free pass by the media. Based on his campaign email, he seems to think he can get away with it again this time. And he may be right.