Barack Obama’s decision to opt out of the public financing system shouldn’t come as a surprise, writes Politico’s Ben Smith. Obama has been inching away from the money for a long time now, proving once again that he’s not a traditional reformer—he’s a pragmatist. Obama comes from a community organizing tradition that focuses on results, not methods.
“Their campaign is brutally pragmatic,” said one Democratic operative. The candidate is taking flak from John McCain for going back on a promise, but the decision has been a no-brainer since his fundraising began shattering records. "In terms of what I care about, which is winning this election, he made exactly the right decision,” said Bob Shrum, a former adviser to John Kerry who thinks Kerry would have won had he done the same. Kerry, by the way, agrees.