Has To Be Done

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The Baltimore Sun and the Raleigh News and Observer are both quick to move past marveling over the latest fundraising numbers from the presidential campaigns straight to the conclusion that action is needed to publicly finance campaigns at the presidential and congressional level before things get any further out of hand.


The Observer comes down particularly hard on the candidates, even those who have said they support public financing:


In one painful/laughable/who knows? irony, Clinton announced the day after her fund-raising totals were released that she really hoped there would be public financing of campaigns one day. Hmmm... isn't that a little like sitting down for a 32-ounce steak wrapped in bacon with baked potato and cheesecake and then decrying the health hazards of overeating? (It's true there's a public financing option for presidential candidates in the general election -- but candidates these days typically opt out because they can raise more on their own, and believe they have to do that to be competitive.)

Early primaries + a crowded field + refusing public financing and its spending limit = record campaign spending, there's no question. Perhaps the silver lining here is that the insanity of the system will be exposed to a larger and more critical audience. If the steady stream of editorials on the subject are any indication, there aren't many people left who are looking for the situation to get any more ridiculous before demanding change.