Fooling the mainstream media into believing he's the scourge of Wall Street has been one of President Obama's most successful theatrical performances. His 2008 campaign brimmed with populist rhetoric against the special interests, including Wall Street.
Meanwhile, his 2008 campaign coffers overflowed with Wall Street money: He raised $14 million from Wall Street -- the most any candidate has ever raised -- and also set a post-McCain-Feingold record for money raised from a single company: nearly $1 million from Goldman Sachs.
He's up to the same game this time around. The Center for Responsive Politics reports:
One-third of the money Obama's elite fund-raising corps has raised on behalf of his re-election has come from the financial sector, according to a new Center for Responsive Politics analysis.
Individuals who work in the finance, insurance and real estate sector are responsible for raising at least $11.8 million for Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to the Center's research.
CRP names some names:
Nine of these 80 bundlers have already raised more than $500,000 -- the top dollar range given by the Obama campaign. Four of them -- former Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine, Evercore Partners executive Charles Myers, Greenstreet Real Estate Partners CEO Steven Green and Azita Raji, a former investment banker for JPMorgan -- did not bundle money for Obama's 2008 campaign.
The other five finance-related top-tier Obama bundlers, who are bundling for him again this campaign, are:
- Mark and Nancy Gilbert, of Barclays, who worked together to raise money as a couple
- Blair Effron, of Centerview Partners
- Kirk Rudy, of Endeavor Real Estate
- Orin Kramer, of Boston Provident
John Emerson, of Capital Group Companies
I noted similarly inconvenient facts in my recent column:
Eugene Ludwig fits the mold, too. Ludwig founded Promontory Financial Group, Washington's leading consultant on financial matters. Ludwig lobbied for the auto bailout on behalf of General Motors and its finance arm GMAC. He's also had insurer AIG and subprime king Countrywide as clients. He cut a $35,800 check last month to the Obama Victory Fund, which divides the money between the campaign and the DNC.