I suppose I should take note of the demise of Buddy Roemer’s third-party campaign, a few months after the demise of his campaign for the Republican nomination. You know, for President of the United States of America. Oh well; it’s hard to ridicule anyone for running for president in a cycle that had Prince Herman.

Outside of inspiring my inspired but little-noticed and never-copied classification of Roemer as a Captain Bateson class candidate, Roemer was also notable for his excellent use of twitter, especially during debates he was excluded from.

And he’s now going to crusade on the topic of campaign finance. Well, I suppose I should wish him good luck in that, but I’m not a fan. I will say this: it would be nice if someone out there outside of the left wing of the Democratic Party was banging the drums for public financing. Granted, I’m only for partial public financing — floors, not ceilings — but it would probably move things forward to have someone new out there pushing it.

By the way, for liberals who support campaign finance, here’s one for you. Compare how responsive to moneyed interests the following Democrats were: JFK/LBJ, elected with only private financing and no limits except ban on direct corporate donations and no disclosure; Jimmy Carter. full general election public financing  and partial nomination public funding with private donations limited and disclosed; Bill Clinton, with both nomination and general election partial public financing plus semi-limited and semi-disclosed private financing for both; and Barack Obama, back to full private financing, semi-limited and semi-disclosed. My sense is that you basically get no difference; others may disagree.

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.