This New York Times article focuses on how Presidential candidate Barack Obama built his fundraising apparatus from zero, and makes an interesting diversion to note Obama's reluctance at having to play the high-dollar fundraising game. A supporter of public financing at the federal level, Obama is concerned by the propensity of fundraising concerns to warp the scope and focus of the campaign.
Here's what he has to say:
Mr. Obama declined to be interviewed for this article. But in his book “The Audacity of Hope,” he sounded prescient about the dangers of the money chase, noting that he could not assume it “didn’t alter me in some ways.” At the simplest level, he wrote, it “eliminated any sense of shame” about asking for donations.
But, he added, he also worries that spending so much time courting wealthy donors has caused him to spend “more and more time above the fray,” away from the concerns of ordinary voters.
So you want to run for office -- you want to work for people, you want to change how things are done: do you refuse to play the money game and all but kill your election hopes, or do you play the game and hope your principles escape unscathed? Aspiring public servants shouldn't have to make that choice.