Charlie Gibson of ABC just interviewed Obama and asked him why he won’t disclose his donor list. Obama proceeds to dissemble by claiming that the donor list would be too difficult to process and that the campaign is technically following the letter of the law, never mind the spirit of it:
GIBSON: You’re going to have a half an hour broadcast tonight on a number of the networks. And the expense is not inconsiderable to buy that much time.
GIBSON: Aren’t you able to buy it only because you broke a promise on campaign financing?
OBAMA: Well, look, there is no doubt that the amount of money that we’ve raised in this campaign has been extraordinary and surprised me as much as anybody — maybe more than anybody. What I would simply point to is that the way we have raised this money has been by expanding the pool of small donors in this country in an unprecedented way.
GIBSON: But you haven’t released their names.
OBAMA: We’ve got…
GIBSON: We don’t know who they are.
OBAMA: Well, look, the — a whole bunch of them were out here today. I mean, you’re looking the people who are giving 5, 10, $25. Ordinary folks who have gotten impassioned about this campaign in a way that is unprecedented. And that, really, is…
GIBSON: Shouldn’t we know the names of that list?
OBAMA: Look, you know, 3.1 million donors would be a pretty hard thing for us to be able to process. And we have done everything that’s been asked of us under the FEC guidelines. These are small donors. They’re ordinary folks. And the idea behind all campaign finance reform is to make sure that the public official is not bought and sold; that that public official is accountable to the public, that they are not subject to undue influence by big special interests in Washington and lobbyists…
Raising money from small donors in an unprecedented way? That’s an understatement.