It is no secret that the relationship between President Obama and Wall Street has become chill. A striking measure of that is the latest campaign finance reports.
Mitt Romney has raised far more money than Mr. Obama this year from the firms that have been among Wall Street’s top sources of donations for the two candidates.
That gap underscores the growing alienation from Mr. Obama among many rank-and-file financial professionals and Mr. Romney’s aggressive and successful efforts to woo them.
The imbalance exists at large investment banks and hedge funds, private equity firms and commercial banks, according to a New York Times analysis of the firms that accounted for the most campaign contributions from the industry to Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama in 2008, based on data from the Federal Election Commission and the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
“There’s no doubt that Governor Romney has raised money off of his belief that Wall Street should be allowed to write its own rules again by repealing Wall Street reform,” said Ben LaBolt, an Obama campaign spokesman. “The president put in place protections to ensure that the financial crisis is not repeated and that unacceptable risks aren’t taken with Americans’ life savings.”
“To the extent anyone is supporting Mitt Romney over President Obama,” said Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman, “it is because of the state of the economy and the president’s failures to create jobs.”
At the same time president Obama and his team have decided to turn public anger at Wall Street into a central tenet of their reelection strategy.
With Occupy Wall Street building momentum across the USand even the world, the White House has decided to make that anger a central line of attack against Mitt Romney and the Republicans in the 2012 election, reports the Washington Post.
“One of the main elements of the contrast will be that the president passed Wall Street reform and our opponent and the other party want to repeal it,” says adviser David Plouffe.
“The fact that Obama has been so close to Wall Street makes this tough going for him,” former Obama aide Van Jones tells the newspaper. I
The move comes as the Occupy Wall Street protests gain momentum across the country and as polls show deep public distrust of the nation’s major financial institutions.
And it sets up what strategists see as a potent line of attack against Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, a former investment executive whom Obama aides plan to portray as a wealthy Wall Street sympathizer.
The strategy of channeling anti-Wall Street anger carries risks. Many of Obama’s senior advisers have ties to the financial industry — a point that makes Occupy protesters wary of the president and his party.
“We intend to make it one of the central elements of the campaign next year,”Obama senior adviser David Plouffe said in an interview. “One of the main elements of the contrast will be that the president passed Wall Street reform and our opponent and the other party want to repeal it.”
“I’m pretty confident 12 months from now, as people make the decision about who to go vote for, the gut check is going to be about, ‘Who would make decisions more about helping my life than Wall Street?’ ” Plouffe added. [via The New York Times, Newser and The Washington Post]