The Obama campaign made a very cagey decision today when he decided against accepting public campaign financing, despite a previous statement stating that he would accept the funds.

While Obama will take a short-term political hit from this decision, the long term benefits are likely to outweigh the negatives.

His campaign is hoping to raise nearly $500 million, which would give him a huge advantage in the general election when it comes to the critical battle for television advertising.

It is a facinating first salvo, and it will be interesting to see how McCain responds. This should be a major plus for Obama.