President Obama's reelection campaign moved its New York City fundraiser away from Pfizer's HQ there, only after the Boston Globe asked the campaign about the propriety.
If you've listened to Obama's rhetoric, you might be surprised that Pfizer would host a fundraiser for Obama. But if you've been following my columns and blog posts, Pfizer & Obama form the most natural fit in the world.
Here are the ties that bind America's biggest drug company and America's most powerful man:
OBAMACARE: The drug industry's lobby supported ObamaCare, and profited from its mandates, subsidies, and regulations (such as new rules keeping generic drugs off the market for 12 years). As a thank you note, the industry ran ads helping the Democratic senators who were in re-election trouble because of their Yea votes.
FORMER PFIZER CEO JEFF KINDLER: Kindler was CEO until last year. His company justified his 2010 pay raise by pointing out how effectively he lobbied on ObamaCare. Kindler attended at least three White House meetings on the bill, and his company spent a record $25 million on lobbying in 2009. He's also an Obama donor.
REMEMBER KELO? Obama sang the praises of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, lauding his "keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people." Pfizer really liked Stevens, too, considering he wrote the opinion in the Supreme Court case that allowed Pfizer, effectively, to use eminent domain in order to get rid of unsightly neighbors to its subsidized new facility in Connecticut.
MONEY: Obama in 2008 raised four times as much from Pfizer as McCain did.