Wall Street Grumbles About Obama — But Still Writes Checks

National Memo Executive Editor Avi Zenilman wrote an article this past weekend for The Daily Beast, where he previewed President Obama’s upcoming fundraising trip to New York and explained why Wall Street is still donating to the president even though they can’t stand his populist rhetoric:

Both donors and operatives, speaking to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity because their universe is full of hushed personal rivalries and petty grudges, said that, for now, much of the money from the financial sector was rolling in out of a sense of obligation. “They’re whining because Obama hurt their feelings,” said House Financial Services chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who guided the financial reform bill through Congress and is grudgingly respected by Wall Street. “He’s not really interfered with their income.”

While Obama’s populist rhetoric—and his oft-noted inability to schmooze as well as Bill Clinton—might underwhelm Wall Street, the threat of a Republican Party gripped by the cultural conservatism of the Tea Party and the religious right still looms. In New York, where the financial community provided much of the support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s successful push to legalize gay marriage, and other urban financial centers, the unanimous opposition by Republican candidates to abortion rights, opening up immigration, and gay marriage doesn’t go over well. In a defense of Bain’s record published in Friday’s Politico, Stephen Rattner, a former investment banker who was perhaps the most powerful Democratic fundraiser in Manhattan until he joined the Obama administration to oversee the rescue of the auto industry, made sure to go out of his way to mock Romney’s “come-lately embrace of hard-right conservatism.”


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