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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Matching funds

No, this isn't going to turn into a political blog. But there's something about this Obama thing that's getting my attention. For the first time in my life I have actually donated MONEY to a political campaign. Just a drop in the bucket, but the pitch was that any donations would be "matched". Thinking that it would be, at the very least, coming from someone with very deep pockets, I entered the info and clicked "send".

The next screen I see is this:

Thank you! Here's Your Match ...
Your donation has been matched by the person below.
Now you can send them a note about why you gave or respond to their message. If you choose, you can reveal your email address to them so that you can continue the conversation.

Your contribution has been matched by: Jenny N

A message to you from the person who matched your contribution:

This is the first time I've ever given to any political campaign. But unlike any time before, I am inspired to be a part of this campaign and I believe we can change the face of politics by showing the world that we as individuals can make a difference in the national political scene. Unfortunately money is still needed to reach voters, so I believe it is important to support Barack Obama with our own little bit, rather than having him take money from special interest groups and political action committees. Thank you for contributing.

OK, I sent Jenny a note, but opted not to continue the conversation (there was a box to check for that). But then (OK, immediately), I get a thank you email from the campaign that says, in part:

It's going to be difficult to bring in enough new donors to hit our goal by March 4. Make an even bigger difference by inspiring someone new to join our campaign.
Make a promise to match someone's first-time donation now:
https://donate.barackobama.com/promise There's also a space to send a form letter to ten "friends"....

I'm new to this, so maybe it's just business as usual. But it seems like one smart campaign strategy to me.

Here's the thing, commenters: I've never been a member of one party or another. I register as a Democrat because around here it's the only primary that makes any sense to vote in. Overall, I'm more right-leaning than left.

But I do believe in a two party system. I think we need liberals to inspire us, to remind us that some of us are "more equal than others" the way things stand, and lead us in new directions. I think we need conservatives to ask Wait! Who's going to pay for all this stuff? And to remind us that private enterprise very often (usually!) offers better solutions to problems than government programs. I'm not very concerned with anybody's "platform" or campaign promises because I believe that it's not the president who ultimately decides anything about policy. It's all about those checks and balances. I see the president as a manager, or administrator on the very highest level.

I think that what we need more than ever right now is a smart, charismatic leader who appeals to Americans across a broad spectrum, and who can inspire the world (people and leaders) to respect us in a way that's been lost. It seems to me that Obama might be able to do this. Maybe I see a little of Lincoln in him?! There's still a long time til November. Will be interesting to see how things evolve.

This interview with David Remnick (from November, 2006, before he was a candidate) is worth reading or listening to (both options available at the link).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your wording ("there's something about this Obama thing") suggests you're not too certain about the reasons for your choice. I too, at age 67 with perhaps not many elections left, would love to be able to vote for the first black president or the first woman president. But to do so simply for those reasons would be either racist or sexist. Obama is the most charismatic politician since JFK. But don't swoon over him. Be sure you know what he wants to do as president.

2:07 PM  
Blogger SuperMom said...

I've not heard of the matching donations before, but seems like an interesting idea.

I would be surprised at this point, to not see Obama get the nod.

Can you imagine thousands of emails you'd be getting from Mom were she still alive in regards to this post? An interesting tidbit: Novak was on one of the talk rags on Sunday and suggested that someone like PAUL might be chosen as McCain's veep. In fact, he was specifically touted as someone McCain SHOULD choose. Interesting!

Oh, and Dad is here and when I read the above comment to him he gasped and said, "I'M sixty-seven! She'll think I wrote that!" He would like to go on record saying that he did not write the above and, were he to do so in the future, he would not sign in as anonymous.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Lynn D. said...

I enjoyed this post and I'm toying with contributing. By the way, I'm not able to read your blog with Firefox, my preferred browser. It just seizes up. Are others having the same problem?

5:10 PM  

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