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[Washington Babylon]

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.”

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