Alvin was cutting Mr. Thompson’s hair. Mr. Thompson is a professor at the local college. We were discussing how Obama’s campaign had raised a shit load of money.

“That Obama is a smart man. I see in the paper he don’t want no help from the government.” Alvin paused and then went back to Mr. Thompson’s head. “But, man, I think he did McCain wrong.”

Our true Obama fan, Jabo, chimed in. “I tell you that boy knows what he’s doin. Didn’t I tell youall he was a heavy thinker, huh, didn’t I?”

“No, you did not,” said Leroy, “but he is smart. And he gon win.”

“Professor, what do you think,” I asked.

Alvin paused to let the professor speak. He couldn’t cut while the professor was speaking because the professor talked with his hands.

“Well, Obama is a very smart man, no doubt about that. But I agree with Alvin, he had agreed to take Federal money but then he reneged when he apparently suddenly discovered he could raise more money than he would get from the government.” The Professor waited for a reply from one of us.

Leroy obliged him. “Now, look here, Professor, if the guy could raise more money than them McCain, he did the right thing. I mean how come both of them got to have the same amount, huh, how come?”

“Look, my man,” I said, “the rule for public financing of presidential elections is not about both candidates having the same amount of money. It is about preventing the rich folks’ money from influencing the election. Am I right, Professor?”

“In part, yes,” the Professor replied, “mainly, it is about preventing special interest from influencing the election. The problem, you see, is it doesn’t stop groups from collecting as much money as they want and using it for negative advertising, such as the Swift Boat group did to Kerry.”

The professor was going too deep for us.

“Well, all I know is Obama can raise a whole lot of cash using the internet, and by God, his plan to do it is a good thing,” insisted Jabo. “I tell you the dude knows how to win.”

“Well, Alvin,” I asked “you gon voted against my man Obama?”

“Now you know what I do in the votin booth is private. Besides, how I vote is neither here nor there. I’m just sayin Obama ought to keep his word, as a gentleman.”

“Politics is no game for gentlemen,” I shot back at him.

“Amen,” said Leroy.

“You got that right,” added Jabo.



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