Bob talks to Lawrence Lessig, Harvard law professor and crusader for campaign finance reform, about his short-lived failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. The only true "outsider" to Washington in this so-called "year of the outsider", Lessig failed to get into the first two Democratic debates, in part because of his low public profile.
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"Death To The Storm" by Joe Henry
BOB: And then there’s the guy who would have loved to field “gotcha” questions, or any questions at all before a national audience. Lawrence Lessig, Harvard law professor and crusader for campaign finance reform, announced this week that he is ending his run for president.
Lessig explained on our show a couple of months ago that he would be running a single issue campaign - that issue? Campaign finance reform. And his promise was that once it had been accomplished, he would resign as president. In the last couple of weeks when it became obvious that he wasn’t getting any traction with that tactic, he renounced his resignation plan and outlined policy positions on 15 other issues, including tax reform and health care. But it was all too little too late. Larry, welcome back to OTM.
LESSIG: It’s great to be back.
BOB: You had trouble getting traction for your message, partly because you could not get in front of the voters on tv to debate the other democratic candidates. Why was that?
LESSIG: I didn't get on stage because of this weird catch 22, and the rules for getting access to the debates. The rules that the Democratic party originally said was three polls, finding you at 1% within 6 weeks of the debate. Now we had some toruble originally because the polls weren't even including my name, and so I didn't make the first debate. But then coming up to the second debate, we're increasingly finding that every poll that included my name actually found me at 1%, but then last week my manager was told by the DNC that the rules actually three polls, finding you at 1% at least 6 weeks before the debate.