Metropolitik: How hypocritical is the Barack Obama?

Can Obama convince the electorate that he’s simply playing on equal ground?

For complaints, suggestions and LinkedIn invitations, e-mail us at

Obama got nailed pretty hard yesterday over his decision  to embrace super PAC donations for the upcoming November elections. Specifically, the president’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, urged supporters to contribute to Priorities USA Action despite critical comments the president has made about campaign finance and the  Supreme Court’s super-PAC-expanding Citizens United decision.
The backlash was fierce. Democrat Russ Feingold criticized the president as “dancing with the devil” in endorsing “what is effectively a legalized Abramoff system.” (Abramoff infamously served hard time for lobbying abuses.) Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads, the
super PAC run by Republican operative Karl Rove, called it “a brazenly cynical move.” (Readers are advised to take this latter analysis with a shaker of salt; American Crossroads is, after all, an organization whose sole purpose is smearing, and ultimately defeating, the president and other
Democrats in November.)

Cries of hypocrisy stem from disparaging remarks the president has made about Citizens United, most recently some feisty rhetoric from his State of the Union address last month when he said the 2010 ruling “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.” Similarly, in an August 2010 address, Obama urged Americans that “we can not allow a corporate takeover of our democracy.”

Messina addressed the above sorts of complaint in pointing out that Obama will be facing down hundreds of millions from opposing super PACs. “Our campaign has to face the reality of the law as it stands,” he wrote. And considering recent funding disclosures, the reality for Obama is not good. Though the president leads Mitt Romney in non-PAC fundraising, big-money donors on the right have outdonated their left-wing counterparts by almost four times, leaving Obama and his party vulnerable to attack.

Of course, Obama campaigned on ending the corrosive influence of money in politics. Four years later and he’s made no visible attempt to fix this problem. Now he needs more money.

Whether or not you hold Obama accountable for this concession to work within the system he has built his reputation on spurning depends partly on whether you value victory over ideals. The president’s campaign argues it’s more important to utilize the legal fundraising options that will be available to his opponents than to stake a claim on this important issue — and thereby die by it. Is the move hypocritical? Definitely, especially considering he’s already done the staking. But if Obama really wants to preside long enough to change this law, he’ll need to win re-election first.

Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.