Washington Babylon — October 21, 2009, 10:11 am

The Washington Bubble and the Political Wink

I love when Washington political reporters inadvertently reveal that they live in a beltway bubble and talk to no one other than those inside of it. As was the case today in a Washington Post piece about President Obama raising up to $3 million yesterday from the financial industry during a swing through Manhattan.

His success at drumming up the dough, said the article, eased “some qualms that the economic downturn might spook major donors at a time when the financial industry is aggravated by the administration’s populist tone but also under pressure to avoid the appearance of excessive giving.” Whose “qualms” were eased by Obama’s success? The story’s reporters clearly talk to too many political and financial muckety mucks, because the rest of the country has not been worried a lot about this matter.

The story did have a few good moments, though:

In a $15,200-per-plate dinner at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Obama asked for cooperation from Wall Street. “If there are members of the financial industry in the audience today,” Obama said, “I would ask that you join us in passing what are necessary reforms. Don’t fight them.”

I have to assume Obama winked when he said that, or he truly is a naive soul and believes donors are going to fork over money to the Democrats in hopes that they press for reform instead of oppose it.

There was also this, which requires no comment:

Large public banks have long been loath to get involved in politics, a major Obama donor said: “The stronger base is among private equity guys, hedge funds, et cetera. People in private firms feel a little more flexible.”

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Postcard October 16, 2013, 8:00 am

The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2014

Stop Hillary!

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

How the Islamic State was Won

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Cage Wars

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Everyday Grace

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Stop Hillary!·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"What Hillary will deliver, then, is more of the same. And that shouldn’t surprise us."
Photograph by Joe Raedle
Article
Cage Wars·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"In the 1970s, “Chickens’ Lib” was a handful of women in flower-print dresses holding signs, but in the past decade farm hens have become almost a national preoccupation."
Photograph by Adam Dickerson/Big Dutchman USA, courtesy Vande Bunte Farms
Article
Paradise Lost·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Suffering Sappho! Here we still are, marching right into yet another century with our glass ceilings, unequal pay, unresolved work and child-care balance, and still marrying, forever marrying, men."
Illustration by Anthony Lister
Article
Off the Land·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Nearly half the reservation lives below the poverty line, with unemployment as high as 60 percent, little to no infrastructure, few entitlements, a safety net that never was, no industry to speak of, and a housing crisis that has been dire not for five years but since the reservation’s founding in 1855."
Illustration by Stan Fellows
Post
Introducing the November 2014 Issue·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Doug Henwood on stopping Hillary Clinton, fighters and potential recruits discuss the rise of the Islamic State, the inevitability of factory farming, and more

Cover photo by Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Industry estimate of the life span of the average umbrella (in years):

2.5

Cancer researchers in California confirmed that dogs can sniff out cancer patients with roughly the same accuracy as screening tests.

A deaf dog belonging to a deaf owner was shot and killed in Alabama, and an Indiana dog’s skin troubles were found to be caused by an allergy to humans. “It’s just not his fault,” said the owner of Lucky Dog Retreat.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today