John McCain’s biggest career blunder was co-authoring McCain-Feingold, a clumsy attempt to keep $$$ out of politics that stomped on the First Amendment.
Obama broke his word on accepting public financing, then went on to break fundraising records while, most likely, breaking fundraising rules. For example, Obama’s campaign turned off the security check for online credit card contributions, allowing donors to violate limits and allowing non-citizens to donate. But he’ll never have to defend himself.
The Federal Election Commission is unlikely to conduct a potentially embarrassing audit of how Barack Obama raised and spent his presidential campaignâ€™s record-shattering windfall, despite allegations of questionable donations and accounting that had the McCain campaign crying foul.
Obama is expected to escape that level of scrutiny mostly because he declined an $84 million public grant for his campaign that automatically triggers an audit and because the sheer volume of cash he raised and spent minimizes the significance of his errors. Another factor: The FEC, which would have to vote to launch an audit, is prone to deadlocking on issues that inordinately impact one party or the other â€“ like approving a messy and high-profile probe of a sitting president.
Meanwhile, McCain, who accepted public financing, must account for every penny.
Adding insult to injury for Republicans: The FEC is obligated to complete a rigorous audit of McCainâ€™s campaign coffers, which will take months, if not years, and cost McCain millions of dollars to defend.