Michael E. Toner, Chairman of the Federal Election Commission estimates the 2008 Presidential race will cost $1 billion when it's all said and done - and if a candidate hasn't got $100 million to buy into the race, he or she might as well stay home. What is this, poker?
Toner believes this will be the first year both major party candidates will opt out of the presidential public financing system all together, in a mad dash to outraise and outspend each other. He further speculates that without an initial $100 million to go into the primary race (and $500 million for each party's nominee thereafter) a candidate won't have a chance. Neat. Without so much a single vote being cast, the presidential race has already been scoped and defined.
Just to recap, the Chairman of the FEC is more or less telling any candidate who can't hold a bunch of those $2,000-a-plate fundraisers for the wealthiest of the wealthy between now and the end of 2007 to throw in the towel. The wealth primary is alive and well, and it's pushing out any potential candidates who aren't already in good with wealthy special interests. I'm sure looking forward to the next two years, aren't you?