President Obama and Wall Street have been going through a rough patch. Obama said some things that hurt Wall Street's feelings, then Wall Street started flirting with Republicans, but 2012 is on the horizon, and there's nothing like an external pressure to make a pair of lovebirds realize just how much they need each other again. Obama was in New York City Wednesday night for three back-to-back fundraisers, and he urged the finance crowd to help him get reelected so more people could live out the American Dream, just like they had.
Obama told the dinner party guests--who'd paid $35,800 to attend--that they were winners. "Everybody here almost by definition has lived out that American dream," he said, The New York Times' Helene Cooper reports. "The question is, will that same story be told by our children and grandchildren?" Obama's 2012 campaign aims to raise $1 billion for 2012, and if he wants to do that, he's going to have to make nice with the financial services industry, many members of which are annoyed by Democrats' populist rhetoric in the wake of the financial crisis. A widely-circulated hedge fund manager's email indicated his peers felt like battered wives. It read:
"I am sure, if we are really nice and stay quiet, everything will be alright and the president will become more centrist and that all his tough talk is just words... I mean, he really loves us and when he beats us, he doesn't mean it."
Despite the popularity of that dramatic email, Obama planned on pulling between $2 million and $3 million from Wednesday's three events. Business Insider's Katya Watchel noted that the first event of the night, hosted by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, shows that "Actually, Some Wall Streeters Haven't Turned on Obama." Among the still-loyal in attendance, according to Politico's Maggie Haberman: financier Bernard Schwartz, Kerry Kennedy, socialite Patricia Duff, Ned Lamont (who beat Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary for his Senate seat on 2006), MF Global president Bradley Abelow, and chair of Eastdil Secured Ben Lambert. CNBC's John Carney reported there were rumors that even JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs head Lloyd Blankfein might show up. (It appears neither did.)
So have Obama and Wall Street really gotten back together? Politico's Ben Smith says the proof will be in the next couple quarterly fundraising reports from the Democratic National Committee.