Since President Obama’s official nomination by the Democratic party, I’ve had two thoughts:
1. I’m going to get used to calling him “President Obama” right now.
2. I want to freaking DO something…I want to help.
Today, Mr. Obama made that possible. I don’t know if all of you have heard, but he’s breaking from the established methods of raising money and is instead depending on US to help him get into office. Here’s the transcript of the video he posted on http://www.barackobama.com/:
Hi, this is Barack Obama.
I have an important announcement and I wanted all of you – the people who built this movement from the bottom-up – to hear it first. We’ve made the decision not to participate in the public-financing system for the general election. This means we’ll be forgoing more than $80 million in public funds during the final months of this election.
It’s not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections. But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who’ve become masters at gaming this broken system. John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we’ve already seen that he’s not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations.
From the very beginning of this campaign, I have asked my supporters to avoid that kind of unregulated activity and join us in building a new kind of politics – and you have. Instead of forcing us to rely on millions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs, you’ve fueled this campaign with donations of $5, $10, $20, whatever you can afford. And because you did, we’ve built a grassroots movement of over 1.5 million Americans. We’ve won the Democratic nomination by relying on ordinary people coming together to achieve extraordinary things.
You’ve already changed the way campaigns are funded because you know that’s the only way we can truly change how Washington works. And that’s the path we will continue in this general election. I’m asking you to try to do something that’s never been done before. Declare our independence from a broken system, and run the type of campaign that reflects the grassroots values that have already changed our politics and brought us this far.
If we don’t stand together, the broken system we have now, a system where special interests drown out the voices of the American people will continue to erode our politics and prevent the possibility of real change. That’s why we must act. The stakes are higher than ever, and people are counting on us.
Every American who is desperate for a fair economy and affordable healthcare, who wants to bring our troops back from Iraq. Who hopes for a better education and future for his or her child, these people are relying on us. You and me. This is our moment and our country is depending on us. So join me, and declare your independence from this broken system and let’s build the first general election campaign that’s truly funded by the American people. With this decision this campaign is in your hands in a way that no campaign has ever been before. Now is the time to act.
Thank you so much.
Just in case you don’t understand…this is HUGE. This could potentially change the way America does politics for generations to come. I now look at Mr. Obama and see and feel what must have been in the hearts of my parents’ generation when they looked toward their TV screens and John F. Kennedy looked back at them. This is a man who wants to see real change happen in this country in his lifetime. In OUR lifetime. …and he’s already started it.
So far, I’ve given $100. And it felt RIGHT. I’m the type of guy who usually has a little bit of “buyer’s-remorse” every time I spend any sum over $5.00–and sometimes even when it’s less, depending on what I bought…but I felt GREAT about giving my money to the Obama campaign. I’m helping to put the first black president into office, and more than that, I’m helping restore something to America that we’ve lost over the past eight-year-hell…