It seems to be accepted truth today that all money in political campaigns is inherently evil. Let me offer a contrary view, thanks to Ferrel Guillory
Ferrel is the ever-wise director of Program on Public Life at the UNCCenter for the Study of the American South.
At breakfast the other day, we were talking about public financing of campaigns.
Ferrel told us about a conversation he had with a young woman here about politics. She never got excited about politics, she told him, until Barack Obama.
“Do you realize why you got excited about Obama?” Ferrel asked her. “Because he had $750 million in his campaign.”
Obama, you recall, scorned public financing. He raised so much money – including a lot of small contributions online – that he could play in all 50 states. He didn’t have to husband his money for a few battlegrounds. He had enough money to have offices and people working everywhere.
Whether you like Obama or not, the point is that money can help candidates get people motivated and involved in campaigns.
Look at the electricity and excitement surrounding the Democratic Senate primary.