Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Obama 2012 Campaign: Nothing says 'I feel your pain' like $36,000-a-plate fundraisers with Wall Street executives

John Edwards was right. There really are two Americas. One for Democrat-slash-Wall Street royalty and one for the rest of us.

While many of the biggest name financiers feel that they can’t publicly support Mr. Obama through campaign contributions the way they did in 2008 — “it would be bad for business,” one brand-name chief executive of a major bank acknowledged — some still plan to vote for him. And some begrudgingly acknowledged that they don’t yet see a viable alternative to Mr. Obama among the Republican field.

It also turns out that Wall Street is not the only one concerned about optics. The president’s re-election campaign has not been actively courting Wall Street’s biggest C.E.O.’s to appear at such fund-raisers out of fear that their support could offend his most liberal backers, two people involved in planning his fund-raiser at Daniel said.

A picture of [Goldman Sachs CEO] Lloyd [Blankfein] and Obama together probably isn’t helpful,” one of these people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid upsetting his role in the campaign... While Wall Street executives still complain about the president’s name-calling and pressure for a regulatory overhaul, many say privately that his bark has been worse than his bite.

Obama hasn’t been too bad to banks. He could have been worse,” said a top executive at one of the nation’s largest banks, a big supporter in the past who decided against attending the dinner because he did not want his colleagues and clients to see him supporting the president... “His rhetoric was obnoxious,” he added, referring to the “fat cat” comments, “but since the midterms, he’s turned it off.”

He pointed to the appointment of William Daley, a former senior executive at JPMorgan Chase, as the president’s chief of staff as a sign of Mr. Obama’s shifting approach toward big business... Mr. Obama’s dinner last week raised $2.3 million, outpacing an original projection of $1.5 million. And the Democratic National Committee raised $10.5 million in May, surpassing the Republican National Committee, which raised $6.2 million...

Of course, if you've lost the readers of The New York Times...

No comments: