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Wall Street Gives Obama Another Look: $70 Million In New Fundraising

Memo Pad Politics

Wall Street Gives Obama Another Look: $70 Million In New Fundraising


While Barack Obama’s policy choices have often irked his progressive base and his occasional jabs at “fat cat bankers” have rankled the thin-skinned titans of Wall Street, he has had surprisingly little trouble raking in their fundraising dollars. The Democratic National Committee and his re-election campaign reported gathering a combined $70.1 million in the quarter that closed at the end of September.

Much of that money came from bundlers, or fundraisers who gather the legal maximum of $2,500 from as many people as possible.

“The network of bundlers that is already active has been funneling in huge amounts of money to the Obama campaign and the DNC,” Michael Beckel, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, told The National Memo. “We know that a lot of those people have connections to Wall Street and ties to the security and investment industry. So while some Wall Street people are sitting on their hands or waiting to see which way the political wind is blowing, others are still backing the president.”

Obama raised more than the entire Republican field combined, and though big-dollar donations are certainly doing much to boost his totals, he continues to collect money from hundreds of thousands of grassroots supporters giving small-dollar (less than $200) donations as well.

“In the second [previous] quarter, he raised about 47 percent of his money from small dollar donors,” Beckel said. “That’s even more than over the course of the 2008 campaign, when the Obama campaign raised about a third of its money from small donors and 57 percent from people who gave $1,000 or less.”

Nonetheless, the big story here is probably that for all of its reservations about Obama, the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, and the Democratic Party’s occasional flirtation with populism, a large chunk of the financial community is betting on a win by the president.

“Wall Street likes a winner, and an incumbent president is hard to unseat, especially when he’s got the financial resources at his disposal. He’s running up the tab on his side of the column while the Republicans are still duking it out amongst themselves,” Beckel added.

Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor is the political correspondent and staff reporter at The National Memo. Previously, he was a staff reporter at The East Hampton Star, where he wrote about politics and the arts. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan in 2010 with a B.A. in political science. You can follow him on Twitter @matthewt_ny

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  1. CavKChas October 14, 2011

    You need to do an article on how much Karl Rove has raised in his two different organizations, one anonymous and the other recorded – and the Koch brothers money they have promised for the defeat of President Obama. Now, if that doesn’t bother America, then I do not know what will. MONEY HAS TO COME OUT OF ELECTIONS. THEY SHOULD BE FEDERALLY FUNDED ONLY. The Supreme Court has enhanced the ability for big corporations and billionaires to contribute without disclosing where the money is from. This ruling must be overturned. It is totally un-American. The amounts I am referring to are in the range of $440,000,000. !!!!!

  2. Elaine McAuliffe October 14, 2011

    Considering the raging bigotry of the Koch brothers (see attempts to re-establish segregation in NC) their willingness to spend big to unseat the President is not surprising. To them it seems to be unconscionable to have a black man in the White House who is not sweeping floors of serving coffee.

  3. Mensah October 14, 2011

    It is indeed very sad to hear that the Supreme Court will look on the other side while these self-centered people carry on their mischief.

  4. Areader October 18, 2011

    I think it is just plain wrong for Supreme Court justices (i.e. Clarence Thomas and Antone Scalia) to attend and/or speak at secret meetings sponsored by the Koch brothers, and attended by well-heeled corporate cronies and various republican legislators. Are these two justices so far above the law that they no longer feel the need to maintain even the appearance of impropriety? Whether they just attended or also gave speeches at such meetings, it blatantly destroys their credibility in the Citizens ruling. Justice Scalia was recently on television stating that the “obstructionism” practised by the current Congress “was always the plan.” Was he indeed in on the process when it was decided not to compromise with President Obama and the democrates under any circumstances?

    The “Citizens” ruling disregards years and years of established case law, giving corporations the same status as “people”, thereby enabling a deluge of corporate and special interest money to pour unidentified into our elections. Both Scalia and Thomas, by attendance and/or speaking at Koch brothers sponsored meeting or meetings display their unwillingness to remain above the appearance of impropriety.

    Justice Thomas has further issues of propriety in failing to report the large amounts of right-wing special interest money his wife earned in recent years. I saw recently that there will be a call for investigation into his failure and hopefully a movement to establishing some sort of code of conduct. It is overdue in the case of Thomas and Scalia. I do not believe the other justices have exhibited questionable and biased behavior, but it is time for even the Supremes to observe a respectable code of conduct given our current state of affairs.

    Corruption and greed has a deep seated hold on our banks, on Wall Street, on our major corporations, our government, and yes, possibly even our Supreme Court. It is no wonder Occupy Wall Street has begun. Can we get the money out of our elections and government and return to only public funds in our elections!


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