Obama and Super PACs: Indication of Campaign Money Problems?

Former White House Counsel, now AEI scholar, Peter J. Wallison comments about the "real significance of the Obama campaign's reversal on the use of super PAC":

  • "Recently . . . the campaign has walked back the idea [of having the first billion dollar war chest], suggesting that while he was doing very well in his fundraising efforts, a billion-dollar campaign was never on their screen"
  • "[T]he decision to endorse a super PAC may suggest that the Obama campaign's money problems are more serious than anyone had thought. In 2008, Obama raised almost $800 million, a record. If he were able to do just as well this year, he wouldn’t need a super PAC, but apparently his advisers have recognized that he will fall well short of the 2008 total."
  • Wallison warns that "[d]espite the attention they have received in the media, super PACs are not always helpful to well-run campaigns and can seriously compromise campaign strategies and tactics."


Peter Wallison is the co-author (with Joel Gora) of Better Parties, Better Government: A Realistic Program for Campaign Finance Reform (AEI Press, 2009), and is reachable at
[email protected] or through his assistant [email protected]. For additional help or for other media inquiries, please email [email protected] (202.862.4871)

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Peter J.
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