Goldman Sachs contributed slightly over $1 million to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, compared with a little over $394,600 to the 2004 Bush campaign. Citigroup gave $736,771 to Obama in 2008, compared with $320,820 to Bush in 2004. Executives and others connected with the Swiss bank UBS AG donated $539,424 to Obama’s 2008 campaign, compared with $416,950 to Bush in 2004. And JP Morgan Chase gave Obama’s campaign $808,799 in 2008, but did not show up among Bush’s top donors in 2004, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Obama’s close relationship with JP Morgan Chase was highlighted earlier this year when he tapped Bill Daley, a former top executive with the bank, to replace Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff.
Wall Street’s generosity to Obama didn’t end with his 2008 campaign either. Wall Street donors contributed $4.8 million to underwrite Obama’s inauguration, according to a Jan. 15, 2009 Reuters report.
So far Wall Street has raised $7.2 million in the current electoral cycle for President Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Obama’s 2012 Wall Street bundlers include people like Jon Corzine, former Goldman Sachs CEO and former New Jersey governor; Azita Raji, a former investment banker for JP Morgan; and Charles Myers, an executive with the investment bank Evercore Partners.
“When he calls Wall Street bankers fat cats, then his base cheers, so you’ll see him constantly trying to shift back and forth, and keep Wall Street happy at one point and his base happy at another point,” Jim Moorehead, current crisis adviser at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP and a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, explained in a July interview with FoxNews.com.
The Republican National Committee echoed Fleischer’s comments in a statement to TheDC, similarly accusing the president of Wall Street hypocrisy.
“The president wants his cake and eat it too,” RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski wrote in an emailed statement. “It’s the height of hypocrisy for President Obama to demonize Wall Street on the stump while looking the other way as they line his campaign coffers.”
Politcal analyst Dr. Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics sums up Wall Street’s 2008 infatuation with Obama as having been more about wanting to back a winner than anything else.
“Two things have changed that. First, the economy is still rotten. Obama’s policies just haven’t worked — or at least not so anybody can tell,” Sabato said. “Second, Obama has to direct the public’s anger and frustration somewhere if he’s to have a decent chance of reelection.”
“There is a great deal of animosity still present in the general public about Wall Street and the banks,” he continued. “The more Obama scapegoats them, the less inclined they are to back him this time. You don’t get the votes and money of people you insult.”