Political Animal


June 13, 2012 10:43 AM Wall Street Places Its Bets On One Of Its Own

By Ed Kilgore

Well, the hard numbers are beginning to verify one common 2012 assumption with a vengence, per Politico’s Abby Phillip and Kenneth Vogel:

For three years, Wall Street’s been telling the world how much it can’t stand President Barack Obama
Now, thanks to campaign finance filings, it’s possible to put a price tag on just how much: Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting it are outraising Obama among financial-sector donors $37.1 million to $4.8 million.

For the arithmetic-impaired, that’s better than a 7-1 margin.

Anyone trying to make the case that Obama “moved to the left” and abandoned these tycoons must account for the fact that many of them were Mitt fans back when he was running for president as the “movement conservative candidate” in 2008:

POLITICO’s separate analysis, which includes 19 former Obama donors who each have given more than $100,000 to Restore Our Future, showed that most of the 19 had also given to Romney’s failed 2008 campaign for the GOP nomination. The analysis found that Obama collected at least five times more from them than Romney in 2008, but that was before the age of super PACs, which have empowered wealthy donors to give much more money to boost campaigns.
Among the group is top Bain Capital executive Stephen Zide, who donated $2,300 to Obama’s campaign just before Election Day in 2008 after having contributed to Romney’s campaign during the Republican primary. Four years later, Zide has come back to Romney in a major way, donating $500,000 to Restore Our Future and $2,500 to the Romney campaign.

So a lot of these folk hedged their bets in 2008, but are doubling down on their good buddy in 2012, aided by the advent of Super-PACs.

One might even call it a form of “class warfare.” But that would be divisive.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • boatboy_srq on June 13, 2012 11:00 AM:

    Hmmm... Support the guy that wants you to play nice with the other kids and follow the rules, or support the guy who'll hand you the keys to the toybox and tell you to enjoy yourself.

    I know which the average 6 year old would pick.

    Exactly how is this surprising in any way?

    Oh, and the "many of them [that] were Mitt fans" back in 2008 were right in the middle of the Bear Stearns and Lehmann fiascos, when Wall St had watched ShrubCo fiddle away their futures and found McCain mouthing support for Shrub's inactions and insisting nothing was wrong. Romney wasn't a serious contender with McNasty in the running, so giving him a little lovin' - er, financial support - didn't hurt anyone. It would be interesting, however, to see how many who gave to Romney in the 08 primary also donated to McNasty/QEotP in the general: that would be a more telling statistic.

  • Josef K on June 13, 2012 11:06 AM:

    Whatever the outcome of this election, its going to be a nightmare for the country. If the President squeaks in, we're in for four more years of outright lunacy and gridlock. This would in some ways be the worst possible outcome as the various crises facing us all can't be put on 'pause' while the GOP runs riot.

    If Romney wins, it will cement 'Citizen's United' as the new norm and make a lie of our election process and the very concept of "representative government". The Republicans will be branded for a generation as the party of stolen and/or bought elections, and the Democrats as the weak-knee and spineless 'opposition' that doesn't actually stand for anything.

    I can't begin to imagine how the public will take this, never mind what happens when the Ryan Budget is put into place and the federal government is effectively evicerated. You just know there's going to be a hundred new crises hitting at once, and President Romney is going to be the hapless fool we have to turn to.

    Bloody revolutions and insurrections have been started for less.

  • esaud on June 13, 2012 11:13 AM:

    There was an interesting Frontline show on the financial meltdown. I may have gotten the wrong idea, but they implied very strongly that McCain was so clueless in the aftermath of the crisis that the Wall Streeters were scared into supporting Obama.

    So the 2008 support for Obama was partially the usual bet hedging and partially fear that McCain would be a massive hindrance.

    (Actually, I always thought that McCain was equally clueless about foreign policy, but that's another story.)

  • desertflower on June 13, 2012 11:28 AM:

    People ought to see this clip from Thom Hartmann and realize what Republicans purposefully did here. It is nothing short of planned treason.It's not good enough that Wall St has come roaring back under President Obama. They want even MORE.America needs to get a clue!


  • desertflower on June 13, 2012 11:38 AM:

    @Josef K...which is the reason why we have to all work hard to elect more Dems. Keep the Senate and gain the House back from the 2 year olds!Let this man DO HIS JOB FOR THE PEOPLE!

  • T2 on June 13, 2012 11:39 AM:

    I wonder when someone....ANYONE....will start talking about legislating Citizens United off the books? Do we truly believe this is the way we'll do elections forever? Surely if the Conservatives regain the presidency they'll want to get rid of it, won't they?

  • c u n d gulag on June 13, 2012 12:12 PM:

    Thanks for the link to the great Hartmann!

    I believe that what you call what the R's did in that restaurant on Obama's Inauguration Day - "The Caucus Room Putsch!"

    They are treasonous, seditious, traitors, and I wish the American people could learn about this (but of course, with our cowardly, compliant, and complicit, MSM, THAT ain't gonna happen), because they should demand that those 14 R's need to hang - alone, or in a group, THEY NEED TO HANG!

    They willingly sacrificed their country and its people, and turned against their Constitutional oath, for their party, and for power!

    Party over country!

  • j_h_r on June 13, 2012 12:16 PM:

    no, that would be "incivility"

    come on man, the Very Serious People will never recognize you if you don't speak their language

  • jjm on June 13, 2012 12:25 PM:

    Well a PPP poll yesterday showed 49% of Americans believing the GOP had purposely stymied measures for economic recovery to spite Obama and oust him from the presidency.

    So the "Caucus Room Putsch" as Gulag above terms it, is beginning to be grasped by the public at large, rather than being successfully buried by the MSM.

    The WI Senate has gone back to the Dems after the recall; Giffords aide won her seat handily, and all over California the top two picks in primaries were Dem/Dem acing out the GOP and other parties.

    There is some cause to hope, IF we can get out the vote.

  • Rabbler on June 13, 2012 12:32 PM:

    Ask a Wall Street person whether he would prefer a $100M now or a guaranteed, but currently untouchable, $1 billion in 10 years and he will petulantly say, 'Why can't I have the billion now?'
    That explains the disparity.

  • desertflower on June 13, 2012 12:36 PM:

    @ c u n d gulag...you're welcome. Everyone needs to see this and understand what these men have done for the love of POWER over PEOPLE. POWER over their country. It boggles the mind.As these hypocrites scream to Eric Holder wanting to cite him for contempt of congress and call for HIS resignation...14 men sat and planned treason upon a country for power.F them all. I hope you take the opportunity to pass this along to as many sites as you possibly can...via Twitter, email,carrier pigeon..whatever. If we sit by and do nothing, then we condone the behavior, and that, to me, is not acceptable. Pass it on. We have some truth telling to do. Thanks And as an aside, we need to ALL get out and vote! If there was ever a reason to keep the Senate and win the House back...this is it.

  • Mitch on June 13, 2012 1:33 PM:


    "Surely if the Conservatives regain the presidency they'll want to get rid of it [Citizens United], won't they?"

    Why on Earth would Conservatives want to get rid of it, just because they happen to regain the Oval Office? Citizens United does nothing but prop up the GOP, since the doners know which party will pay them back. If the GOP has the White House, they have the bully pulpit, in addition to owning the media narrative, and getting unlimited cash from Big Money doners.

    No, T2, if the GOP gains the presidency, I entirly expect them to enact legislation that will give Big Money even MORE influence over the political process. That is, after all, what Republicans do.

  • RalfW on June 13, 2012 2:00 PM:

    There are many reasons to get rid of the carried interest loophole in the tax code. Massive 1/2 and full million dollar checks to Super PACs come to mind as reason #27. Yes these guys would still be mighty rich if they paid 32% or so in taxes rather than 15%. But they might just feel a bit more conservative with the free-flowing cash if their mega "earnings" were given a fair (as in what a middle manager pays) tax bite.

  • Neo on June 13, 2012 6:32 PM:

    There comes a point where Obama’s whining about George Bush will make people realize that perhaps they should elect a Republican so at least there will be a valid reason to blame them for the country’s ills.

    Given that George Bush can’t run by constitutional mandate, it will be Romney who will get the nod.