If conservatives take this example and weave it into a larger narrative about how Barack Obama isn’t the “change agent” he says he is, that’s all well and good. But focusing narrowly on the public financing angle is a waste of time. First, conservatives ought to oppose public financing, a message that gets muddled if we attack the Democrats for not taking it while the Republicans do accept welfare for politicians. Second, McCain wouldn’t be taking public financing if his campaign was better funded. He is already taking advantage of loopholes in his own campaign finance law to try to close the gap. No matter how “cynical” it is, no politician as well funded as Obama would give up their biggest advantage in a close race out of idealism. Third, we are talking to ourselves. Nobody who doesn’t obsess about politics for a living is going to care about this issue. This will not hurt Obama at all, except among a few lefties who might now vote for Nader.