Barack Obama hit another one out of the park. By now you’ve heard all about the $32.5 million the Illinois Senator’s campaign raised in the second quarter of this year. That’s five million more than the big kahuna, Hillary Clinton, who was easily supposed to win the money chase. And well more than three times the amount of John Edwards.
Obama tapped over a quarter million donors en route to smashing all primary fundraising records. That’s a very impressive number. But let’s not lose sight of what it all means.
Obama’s first quarter take was powered by a lot of small donors. And to his credit Obama doesn’t accept money from lobbyists. But that didn’t stop him from cozying up to powerful sectors such as Wall Street and raising a boatload from places like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. We’ll know the details of the second quarter take soon enough.
Money corrupts. Take one look at Washington today. Obama has said so himself. "We need a President who sees government not as a tool to enrich well-connected friends and high-priced lobbyists, but as the defender of fairness and opportunity for every American," he said in New Hampshire recently.
Obama has a natural instinct for reform. He’s co-sponsored legislation to publicly finance political campaigns. But every time a politician holds a top-dollar fundraiser, it seems like another little piece of idealism gets bought.
While he’s stuck in a system driven by dough, Obama should keep talking about how to change it.