Yesterday, while campaigning in New Hampshire, former Senator John Edwards declared his proposal to cut the influence of big-money donors in presidential campaigns. He wants the maximum any one individual can give to a candidate reduced from $2,300 to $1,000.
By an astonishing coincidence, Edwards has been trailing his Democratic rivals in fundraising, and few weeks ago announced that he would be accepting public financing — and the accompanying restrictions on his campaign.
A more cynical observer might say that Edwards is trying to pull the “I can’t raise as much money as you, so I’m going to punish you for being more successful and popular.” That he wants to lower the ceiling to match his own anemic efforts, and prevent others from outraising him.
But that would be casting aspersions on Edwards, a highly successful trial lawyer who once “channeled the spirit” of a deceased child for a jury and drove the cost of practicing medicine (especially obstetrics) in his home state through the roof, chasing some doctors out of state entirely, and uses his wife’s health as a shield to let her be his personal attack dog, and… um…
What was I saying again?
Oh, yeah. I cannot possibly imagine Edwards would stoop so low as to try to rig the electoral fundraising system to cover up his own failings and restrict his rivals’ advantages. That would be — as a brilliant Sicilian used to say — inconceivable.