Tonight, my wife, a staunch Democrat, said, “Do you know how much he spends every day to get elected?”

“I don’t know, 10 million?” I said.

“4 million dollars.” she answered.

“Advertising’s expensive.”

“But think of all those people who could use the money.” she added. “It’s a little hypocritical to be ‘for the middle class’ when you’re spending millions of dollars every day on advertising.”

“But that’s the Bush model. Obama just outspent what Bush spent” I said, referring to the record Obama just broke in media spending. “How else do you explain how he got elected, and then re-elected? He owned the media. But instead of getting money from big companies, Obama is getting his from -”

“From us,” she interjected. “And do you know how much he earned last month?” She didn’t wait for a reply, “150 million. One-Hun-dred-and-fif-ty-million, Jim!”

“But it’s from us. We’re the special interest this time around. Not big oil, or the NRA or whoever else backed Bush.” I said. “Do you want him to suspend his campaign today and say he’s giving all of his money to the poor and middle class? It won’t help much at all in the scope of things. And – he’ll likely not get elected, if Bush’s media policy has any truth to it.”

“Yeah, well it’s still a lot of money that could be used in other ways.” She was frustrated. She wants to like Obama, and even shook his hand a few weeks ago at a rally in Charlotte. But she’s surrounded by the Right all day at work – and I think they’re getting to her.Her armor is cracking a little. She says she agrees with a lot of what McCain supports. And it’s not like he’s a really bad guy, I mean, he’s a hero and a great American. But I can’t bring myself to vote for another Republican – and I sincerely believe Obama has the wisdom and decision making skills necessary to run the country, and the communication skills to help change how we interact with one another both here at home, and with people and nations all over the globe.

But 4 bills a day is a lot. “What about the leftover?” I asked my wife who had now worked herself into some stress thinking about the whole thing.

“What leftover?” she said.

“Ok, let’s say he has 200 million banked. Do you think he’s going to try to spend all of it? Even if he has a huge lead? Even if it’s just wasted media buying? If so, that would not be good. Not good for people like you who see tons of money being thrown away on advertising, to normal people everywhere who donated to his campaign. What about if they tried to salvage some of it? What if they said, We will end our successful campaign with a healthy surplus. But instead of trying to return a portion of it to the millions who invested in their country by donating to our campaign, we’re setting up 100 4-year scholarships per year for 10 years so these students get a full-ride.'”

“Now that would be something,” she replied – a little less stressed about it. “It would prove Obama can walk the talk.”

Now let’s ask the Obama camp about how they intend to manage any surplus?


Jim Mitchem

The Biggest Balls of All
My Number, by Billy Collins

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.

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