[Washington Babylon ]Buying the Election | Harper's Magazine

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[Washington Babylon]

Buying the Election


This is astonishing.

The state where the Obama campaign has been carpet bombing the airwaves most vigorously this past weekend was West Virginia. If you watched TV over the weekend in the Mountaineer State, you could not have missed the Obama ads — an extraordinary buy of $1.2 million per day for 5 days, with ads running in every media market in the state. The McCain campaign, had it spent all of its $84 million for the general election on TV ads, would have had $1.4 million to spend per day for campaign ads for the last two months for all 50 states. Obama has just spent almost that much per day in one state with fewer than 2 million people and but 5 Electoral College votes.

Obama certainly isn’t winning only because of his fundraising advantage, but it gives him a huge edge and there’s no denying the hypocrisy of his decision to abandon the public-financing system. If the situation was reversed, the liberal blogosphere would be filled with the stories of how John McCain was buying the presidency. And conservative pundits, naturally, would find nothing amiss.

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