John McCain would face more scrutiny if he were the one with Barack Obama’s deep pockets, says Jonathan Wilcox of the USC Annenberg School.
“I detect a massive shortfall of concern about the financing of the Obama campaign,” Wilcox says. “When Republicans raised one-third or one-fourth as much, this was called ‘buying the election.’ If it were the other way around, it would be a common refrain in the campaign dialogue.
“When campaigning in 2000, Al Gore pledged that the first bill he would seek and sign as president would be campaign finance reform, and that was in an election that would spend one-sixth as much as this one,” Wilcox says. “Gore believed it was good government and good politics, and it shows how far we’ve come that today it would be considered ludicrous politics.”
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