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Economy / campaign 2012

Obama Seeking to Win Back Wall Street Support

Obama: Teaching moment.(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

photo of Catherine Hollander
June 13, 2011

President Obama is seeking to regain support from Wall Street executives following a rough patch in their relationship, The New York Times reported Monday.

Although the president’s top financial industry supporters have said they are confident that Obama will get the backing he needs from Wall Street in the upcoming election, the Obama campaign will have to work hard to overcome the events of the past two and a half years: Wall Street’s bust, clashes over policy, and the sometimes bitter personal differences that have developed, the Times reports. The president alienated some top Wall Street supporters when he criticized their bonuses and called them "fat cats."

Obama is making the case that his economic policies have helped restore the health of banks and financial markets rather than undercutting those who profit from their success. Members of the White House economics team are reaching out to Wall Street on policy issues. According to the Times, the Obama administration is also seeking support from prominent Wall Street figures that could help sway support for the president at Republican-leaning firms as well as high-level “bundlers,” or supporters who recruit other donors.

 

Large investment banks gave generously to the Obama campaign in 2008 but have yet to show similar support for his 2012 bid, although it is still early in the cycle. Many of those who publicly defected from the president were Republicans who helped bolster Obama’s image as a post-partisan candidate in the last election.

Obama faces competition for Wall Street support from Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and presumed Republican front-runner in the 2012 presidential race. Romney is courting financial-industry donors using his background as a venture capital executive, the Times reports. He held three such fundraisers last week in Greenwich, Conn., and New York City.

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