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McCain Seeks Financing from RNC, Compromising Independence

May 20, 2008 04:44 PM
by Isabel Cowles
By relying on Republican financing, Arizona Senator John McCain aligns himself with the current administration and possibly compromises his role as the “GOP maverick.”

30-Second Summary

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As Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s private fundraising efforts bear significant fruit, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona has been turning to GOP finances to help bolster his campaign.

Despite having accepted public financing, which limits individual donors, Senator McCain has been working with GOP fundraising committees to “raise money far in excess of the $2,300 limit imposed on individuals giving. ... Donors can write a single check of almost $70,000 to the committees that is divvied up to various entities,” the New York Times reports.

Republican officials have also enlisted President George W. Bush, “who has raised more than $36 million this year for Republican candidates and committees, for three events on Mr. McCain’s behalf.”

But Senator McCain’s popularity among many voters—especially moderates and independents—rests in keeping himself apart from the Bush administration. According to Republican strategist Ken Duberstein, McCain is only able to compete with Obama because he “is a maverick and an independent change agent.”

McCain’s acceptance of GOP financing will further ingratiate him with the mainstream Republican Party, and also reinforce the Democratic strategy to align McCain with Bush, “no matter how hard he struggles to break free.”

Headline Link: ‘McCain to Rely on Party Money Against Obama’

Background: McCain's relationship with Bush

McCain walks fine line with GOP
Democrats eager to align McCain with Bush
McCain’s campaign finances
Obama’s campaign finances

Opinion & Analysis: Why McCain must play the maverick

Related Topics: Lobbyist purge, public (and private) financing

The battle over public financing
McCain purges lobbyists from campaign
Cindy McCain keeps her finances private
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