Last week NBC Nightly News reported that Barack Obama has already begun holding fund raisers to build up his war chest for his upcoming bid for re-election. Brian Williams mentioned that Mr. Obama hopes to raise the bar even further by raising a billion dollars in campaign contributions.
Can you believe that, a billion dollars available for one person to spend, just to get themselves re-elected? We hear that number, a billion, so often nowadays that we fail to realize just how large it really is. A billion is ONE THOUSAND MILLION! If you started counting each second of the day, it would take you 31.7 years before you got to one billion!
I imagine everyone knows that a $100 bill is the same size as a five, or a ten dollar bill. A stack of $100 bills from the treasury department contains $10,000 and is about a half inch thick. It would fit into your front pocket. A million dollars is a bit larger; it would take a small grocery bag to carry it around. The next increment, $100 million, would be a bit more difficult to take with you, as it would fill a standard wooden pallet. Now get this, a billion dollars takes twelve pallets full of nice little $10,000 packets of $100 bills. I think by now you get the picture, a billion dollars is a lot of money. However, seeing as how our government has run up a $1.4 trillion national debt, I guess a billion is chump change. But if you ask me, a billion dollars for a presidential candidate to spend upon a campaign is just plain obscene.
Now before anyone goes off and says, “There he goes again, bashing Barack Obama”, this is not about Obama, not really. This is about all our elected officials, and how much money they spend to convince you to vote for them.
Here are some statistics you may not be aware of. According to data reported to the Federal Election Commission, in the 2008 election, in 93% of the House races and 94% of the Senate races, the candidate who spent the most money campaigning ended up winning. According to data, the average cost to win a House race was over $1 million and the number jumps astronomically for the Senate, costing roughly $6.5 million.
What I’m trying to say is that these people routinely spend more money than the average person will see in a life-time, just to woo your vote. Think about it, Obama hopes to raise a billion to campaign with, there are 300, million plus or minus people in this country. If he really wanted to get people to vote for them, he could just mail every registered voter a million dollars and ask them to vote for him. Hell, he would still have over $700 million leftover. Even if those of principle refused his money, or decided to keep it and vote for someone else anyway, he could probably still get enough people to vote for him to get re-elected. But no, instead he is going to inundate the airwaves with campaign ads, touting how much better he is than his opponents, how his vision for America is the path we ought to be taking. I may end up just shooting my damn TV if I have to put up a year of professional liars and con men telling me why I should vote for them!
Getting back to Mr. Obama, and his goal of a billion dollars, there is something that people need to ask themselves. Why does an incumbent president need THAT much money to convince people to re-elect him? Don’t statistics show that incumbent presidents hold, what sports aficionados call the ‘home field advantage’? Isn’t it usually the contenders that have to prove that they are better qualified to lead this country? Why then does Obama need that much money to get you to vote for him? Could it be because he knows he hasn’t done shit for this country and it will take a whole lot of air time to convince you? Could it be that he knows that he is going to face serious opposition and that he needs to be able to convince you that the other guy is a bigger liar, or cheat than he is? Whatever the case, a billion dollars for an incumbent president to spend should give you reason to ask some serious questions about his worthiness to hold the office another term. I mean after all, if he had done such a bang up job of running the country, shouldn’t he be able to run a campaign based upon his record for the past four years?
Don’t get me wrong; looking at the list of potential GOP contenders, I don’t think that they have anyone who I would be tempted to vote for either. The way I look at it is that these people are interviewing for a job, that job being the president of the United States. They have to prove to me that they are best qualified to run this country.
If you had a business, and you were interviewing potential employees, you would seek the best people to work for you, wouldn’t you? You would also have a set of criteria that you used to determine if these people were right for your company. Well, for me, the Constitution is the criteria I judge candidates by. If they make promises to do things that are not found within the Constitution, they are automatically disqualified from getting my vote.
I don’t know about you, but Mr. Obama was lacking in eligibility in 2008, and his record shows that my judgment was on the mark. I also find it highly suspicious that he needs that much money to get himself re-elected, unless of course he knows it too.
But I suppose that in 2012, the elections will once again prove P.T. Barnum right, that there indeed is a sucker born every minute.