Monday, March 10, 2008

One of the worst ideas ever

The New York Times reports this morning that two of Hillary Clinton's top fundraisers have generously offered to raise up to $15 million -- half of the estimated cost -- to stage new primaries in Florida and Michigan.

Those knights in shining armor? New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

Pennsylvania, you say? Why does that ring a bell? It seems that perhaps, there is something coming up there soon ... What was it again?

Oh, yeah, the Pennsylvania uber-primary on April 22, the last of the big nominating contests and the next anticipated showdown between Clinton and Barack Obama.

Why does everyone seem to think that soft money is the way to solve this problem? Soft money is the cancer infecting good policy at all levels of government across America, so it can't be the antidote to the delegate mess.

Why not have the candidates fork over the money themselves? It's not like they don't have it. Just to refresh your memory, the fundraising takes -- in February ALONE -- were Clinton: $35 million; Obama: $55 million.

I didn't major in math or anything. But the following equation is apparent even to me:

Clinton's $35 million
+ Obama's $55 million
$90 million
- $30 million for primaries
$60 million

The candidates could even provide the $30 million needed on a proportional basis, if that would make the Clinton campaign more comfortable (yes, $15 million is more to her than $15 million to Obama).

Umm, I'm pretty sure that's still enough money to get the candidates through March without having to resort to the political equivalent of Ramen noodles. If not, then forget the red phone; I don't want either one of them anywhere near the federal budget.