Monday, November 12, 2007

Who Owns The Candidates?

Nikki Finke has got the best coverage of the Writers Guild strike available. She recently noted the producers were mad when Barack Obama (soon followed by other Dems) supported the writers. Finke wrote, ironically (I'd say), "I can't believe the CEOs are naive enough to think that just because they've been hosting political fundraisers and giving donations to him that gives them any clout. "

Cynical people who imagine they're sophisticated believe politicians are bought and sold, but the truth is, especially at the highest level, you can't buy them because, for one thing, they're too expensive. They've got numerous sources of money and they'll throw you under the bus in a second if it hurts them with the voting public. And if you represent one part of their constituency fighting against another, it's devil take the hindmost.

My main point, which isn't cynical at all, is that money doesn't lead, it follows. It's more common to give money to candidates not because you believe you can influence them much (if at all), but because they're already going to do what you want them to do. Politicians can change their minds, but it's usually to chase voters. It's actually pretty hard to find a politician who voted the way she wasn't planning because of a contributor.


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