Guess who got the most private-equity money in 2008?

posted at 3:21 pm on May 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

You get three guesses … and the first two don’t count. An analysis by The Hill of data from Open Secrets shows that Barack Obama got more than $3.5 million from donors who work in private-equity or hedge-fund firms in 2008, almost twice as much as John McCain raised in the same industry:

President Obama raised far more cash from hedge fund and private equity donors than any other candidate in the 2008 election cycle.

According to an analysis by the nonprofit group Open Secrets, Obama took in nearly $3.5 million from large private-equity donors that year — nearly twice what his general-election rival, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), pocketed.

This makes the hypocrisy pointed out by Anderson Cooper on CNN last night with Ben LaBolt just a little more obvious.  Jonathan Easley writes that this information makes it more difficult for Obama to execute an attack on Bain Capital for doing precisely what Obama’s own donors do, both 2008 donors and 2012 donors like Blackstone’s Tony James.  The attack on private equity might end up driving James’ colleagues into the arms of Mitt Romney:

The danger for Obama is that he’ll turn off the backers who helped his campaign in 2008. It’s a risky strategy, especially in an election year in which Obama will have to compete not only with the Romney campaign but with GOP super-PACs expected to play an outsize role in political attack ads this fall.

The problem goes beyond donors.  Mark Warner found himself in a tough spot on MSNBC this morning, and his history as a venture capitalist puts him squarely in the Obama campaign’s crosshairs.  Chuck Todd asked him about Bain Capital, and Warner ended up rebutting Team Obama’s spin:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

MSNBC host Chuck Todd asked Warner whether he was “comfortable” with Obama’s “attacks on Bain Capital? Do you think it’s an attack on private equity?”

Warner said he was “proud” of his work in venture capital, adding: “One of the things I found as I made the transition to public service, there is a different skill set. Oftentimes if you’ve got investors, you’re looking for short-term profits. If you’re in public service, if you’re investing in pre-school, if you’re investing in infrastructure, you’ve got a much different time horizon. There is a different skill set, and I think it’s a valid topic of debate.”

Asked whether Bain “practiced good or bad ethics,” Warner said, “I think Bain Capital was a very successful business. I think they got a good return for their investors. That is what they were supposed to do.” Republicans quickly seized on the comment, blasting it out to their press list.

Warner tried to split the baby a bit by noting that public-service priorities are different — but if that’s the case, why doesn’t the Obama campaign focus on Romney’s tenure as governor of Massachusetts instead of Bain Capital?  Why demonize Bain when they’re taking money from its executives, and as a number of Democrats come to Bain’s defense?  It’s sheer demagoguery, so much so that other Democrats can’t bring themselves to regurgitate it — and the media is taking notice.

Update: Don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that Warner waa running for the Senate; he’s already there, of course. Tim Kaine is running this year. My apologies for the error.


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“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it,” -Mark Twain.

Akzed on May 22, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Isn’t Warner already a senator? I though it was Tim Kaine running as a Dem for Webb’s open seat.

Wethal on May 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I don’t know, who?

NotCoach on May 22, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Yes, but those were good private equity firms. And trust me they are like waaaaayyyyy different than Bain Capital. The mission of Obama’s PE firms was to save the whales and provide free contractption to struggling single moms. They didn’t even care if they made a profit or not. In fact they hoped they didn’t because profits are evil and so are those who want to make them. Like that evil Bain Capital.

Kataklysmic on May 22, 2012 at 3:27 PM

We don’t pay politicians to “invest”. And just how much experience did Obama have in anything useful before he was elected POTUS? Just another nincompoop.

aniptofar on May 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM

I find myself wondering why these firms supporting this Marxist…hedging their bets, do they really believe in him and his policies, or are they just cutting off noses to spite faces? Or all of the above? I just don’t get it.

Or are they just hoping by donating they’ll be spared whatever twisted policies Obama should come up with should he be re-elected? If that’s the case, have fun with that…they’ll be some of the first to get nailed.

sage0925 on May 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM

It’s sheer demagoguery, so much so that other Democrats can’t bring themselves to regurgitate it

Wow, I thought Democrats could puke up anything.

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM

You don’t say?

You mean private-equity private equity?

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on May 22, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Shocked I tell ya…cue cat’s reaction to hearing this news:
Shocked Cat

nextgen_repub on May 22, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Isn’t Warner already a senator? I though it was Tim Kaine running as a Dem for Webb’s open seat.

Wethal on May 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I second that question.

Lost in Jersey on May 22, 2012 at 3:34 PM

It’s sheer demagoguery, so much so that other Democrats can’t bring themselves to regurgitate it

Wow, I thought Democrats could puke up anything.

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Apparently, only the Nancy Pelosi-Debbie Whathername Schultz wing of the party will toss anything against the wall.

Bitter Clinger on May 22, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Kataklysmic on May 22, 2012 at 3:27 PM

lol

The amount shouldn’t really matter…I find all of these “raised the most” attacks off the mark because Obama generally raised the most out of every category in 2008. Furthermore, Wall St tends to give to winners so once it was clear Obama would win, of course he raised more money.

The key is that he raised money from them at all. What is the difference between all these large LBO funds again? right, there is none.

peachaeo on May 22, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Those are not people. Those are lizardoid aliens from the planet FLÅARB impersonating human-beings.

FlatFoot on May 22, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Ed, it’s Webb’s seat that’s open this year. I think Warner is in 2 years.

JeffWeimer on May 22, 2012 at 3:35 PM

You get three guesses … and the first two don’t count.

Satan?

forest on May 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I pretty much agree with most of this post. Le sigh.

libfreeordie on May 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

It’s OK because Barry really hates the source of those barrels of dollars he’s pulling in.

NoDonkey on May 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

It’s sheer demagoguery, so much so that other Democrats can’t bring themselves to regurgitate it — and the media is taking notice can’t ignore it anymore.

Fixed.

Socratease on May 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Satan?

forest on May 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Same diff.

No, actually. Satan wouldn’t need a teleprompter to sound coherent.

The Rogue Tomato on May 22, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I pretty much agree with most of this post. Le sigh.

libfreeordie on May 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

And yet you will still vote for King Obama.

JPeterman on May 22, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Ed, it’s Webb’s seat that’s open this year. I think Warner is in 2 years.

JeffWeimer on May 22, 2012 at 3:35 PM

That’s correct. Kaine and Geo Allen are running for Webb’s seat. Warner is up for re-election in 2014.

BacaDog on May 22, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Mark Warner will find himself in a tough fight for Virginia’s open Senate seat this fall, and his history as a venture capitalist puts him squarely in the Obama campaign’s crosshairs.

Mark Warner is not up for re-election this year. Virginia’s other Senator, Jim Webb, is retiring, and the Democrat candidate is former Governor Tim Kaine against former Senator George Allen.

Steve Z on May 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Some of these idiot’s Unintended Consequences are coming home to Roost!

kirkill on May 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I am seeing a pattern:

1) 0bama campaign launches incredibly lame attack.
2) Romney campaign counters.
3) 0bama campaign sinks to new low of ineptitude.

StubbleSpark on May 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

The problem goes beyond donors. Mark Warner will find himself in a tough fight for Virginia’s open Senate seat this fall

Warner is a current Senator not up for re-election this fall. VA Sen. Jim Webb’s seat is up and he is not standing for reelection, thus the open seat. The presumptive candidates for that seat are former Governor and Senator George Allen and former Governor Tim Kaine.

dczombie on May 22, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Isn’t Warner already a senator? I though it was Tim Kaine running as a Dem for Webb’s open seat.

Wethal on May 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Its Webb’s seat that will be open. Warner is up in 2014.

Spliff Menendez on May 22, 2012 at 3:41 PM

It’s OK because Barry really hates the source of those barrels of dollars he’s pulling in.

NoDonkey on May 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

So he loves the milk, he just hates the cow?

iurockhead on May 22, 2012 at 3:42 PM

On a related note in HA news section – David Letterman attacks Romney for his personal wealth.
A quick google search indicates:
Romney net worth about $190 Million to $250 Million
Letterman net worth about $400 Million.
Pot meet kettle…..

dentarthurdent on May 22, 2012 at 3:43 PM

The Bain attack is all the Democrats have, and it’s already blown up in their faces multiple times.

No matter how much spin you want to put on it, Bain’s investments have created jobs in this country. Even the liberal MSM is starting to call Obama on his ridiculous attacks, especially since Obama has taken so much money from Bain bundlers. Obama even has former Bain associates in his own Administration.

To really attack Bain, you basically have to make a case against capitalism itself. That may work in certain pockets of Europe, but I don’t see that being a very effective campaign theme here in the States.

FYI, Warner is not up for reelection this year. In Virginia it’s Tim Kaine vs George Allen for the open Senate seat.

BradTank on May 22, 2012 at 3:45 PM

We don’t pay politicians to “invest”.
aniptofar on May 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM

“Invest” for a public employee is code for stealing tax dollars and giving it to cronies like SEIU or Solyndra or Planned Parenthood.

Christian Conservative on May 22, 2012 at 3:45 PM

I pretty much agree with most of this post. Le sigh.

libfreeordie on May 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

And yet you will still vote for King Obama.

JPeterman on May 22, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Hypocrisy isn’t in a liberal’s vocabulary, when looking in the mirror. Because they really only care about social issues anyway, you know, getting rid of Christianity, and promoting a gay lifestyle. But they’ll still defend every Islamisict’s right to terrorize.

kirkill on May 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it,” -Mark Twain.

Akzed on May 22, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I’m stealing that.

peski on May 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Those are not people. Those are lizardoid aliens from the planet FLÅARB impersonating human-beings.

FlatFoot on May 22, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Ha! I just knew it!

LOL

sage0925 on May 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Why doesn’t Obama just come out of his closet and claim that he embraces Socialism and Marxism and hates all capitalist? While he’s at it, he can tell us how he hates mom and apple pie.

Rovin on May 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Another boomerang for Obama. I’m beginning to think he just might lose, but I don’t want to get my hopes up.

eMatters on May 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Warner backpedaling from Bain attacks now.

Bookered

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM

More disconcerting than this utterly corrupt White House cynically and hypocritically taking capitalist money is that capitalists operate against their own best interests by giving money to their sworn and open enemy. What is wrong with these people?

curved space on May 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM

“You get three guesses … and the first two don’t count.”

I’m not sure…

… but rumor has it he is gay.

/

Seven Percent Solution on May 22, 2012 at 3:50 PM

What is wrong with these people?

curved space on May 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Fear.

JPeterman on May 22, 2012 at 3:52 PM

What is wrong with these people?

curved space on May 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I would guess they’re trying to buy their way into his protected crony capitalist circle.

dentarthurdent on May 22, 2012 at 3:55 PM

This just helps convince independents that all politicians are the same.

firegnome on May 22, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Why doesn’t Obama just come out of his closet and claim that he embraces Socialism and Marxism and hates all capitalist? While he’s at it, he can tell us how he hates mom and apple pie.

Rovin on May 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Don’t worry…he’ll “evolve” on that if he’s re-elected. He’ll finally come out of that particular “closet” at that time…to do so now would scare the sheep.

sage0925 on May 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I don’t know which Obama caption picture used here annoys me the most. This one, the smirk, or the raging orange face one.

wildcat72 on May 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Naked attempt at a thread hijack and per Drudge: It seems that The Gaff-o-matic VPOTUS is at it again. In separate items (1) he believes that the Tea Party stopped him and Jugearz from growing the economy and (2) he is rejoicing in the fact that he has a beautiful house and is paid a lot of money.

In other news, FacePlant continues it’s downward spiral.

..this is Commander X signing off..

The War Planner on May 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Guess who got the most private-equity money in 2008?

Gosh, I don’t know. Can you give me a hint?

SubmarineDoc on May 22, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Warner tried to split the baby…

Whoa there. You will want to be careful when using Biblical references in association with Democrats. Gonna confuse and offend millions.

sdbatboy on May 22, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Drudge: Biden blames the Tea Party for Lack of Economic Growth.

Here’s an idea – remove the humorless a**hole Letterman from late night and replace him with Crazy Uncle Joe. Just a Freaking Laugh Riot.

Keep it up Joe, you’re killin’ them out there! Too bad for him it’s his soon to be ex-boss.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on May 22, 2012 at 3:58 PM

(2) he is rejoicing in the fact that he has a beautiful house and is paid a lot of money.

The War Planner on May 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM

VPOTUS is officially a Talking Head:
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful
wife
And you may ask yourself-Well…How did I get here?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!

Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…

Brat on May 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Fear.
JPeterman on May 22, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Yes. And New York.

curved space on May 22, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Despite 1 Continual psychopathic lying 2 Running up the national debt at the rate of 1.5 trillion a year 3 Totally ignoring the atomic buildup in Iran 4 Screwing our most loyal ally Israel 5 Overseeing the most crooked and/ or politically destructive cabinet in history led by ‘Fast and Furious’ Eric Holder 6 By bribes, kickbacks and intimidation pushing through a doctor destroying, economic wrecking and quality pulverizing socialized medicine scheme 7 By destroying America’s competitiveness by hamstringing businesses with burdensome taxes and even more burdensome EPA regulations-despite these and a thousand thing more-this guy is in a virtual tie for re-election.This means a nation of hedonists with onion dip for brains.

MaiDee on May 22, 2012 at 4:11 PM

…this information makes it more difficult for Obama to execute an attack on Bain Capital for doing precisely what Obama’s own donors do, both 2008 donors and 2012 donors like Blackstone’s Tony James.

Ed, Ed, Ed. Since when has hypocrisy ever bothered The Chosen One?

GarandFan on May 22, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Ed’s mistake is a pretty easy one to make when you realize George Allen lost to Mark Warner 4 years ago and is running again for the Senate this fall. He just has a diff opponent in Tim Kaine.

Warner/Kaine – both former democrat governors of VA. Warner comes off looking like less of an Obama shill; however, I always remind myself he started out working for Chris Dodd.

Greyledge Gal on May 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Greyledge Gal on May 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Not quite.

Allen lost to Jim Webb in 2006. Webb is not running again, hence Tim Kaine is running for his seat this year.

Mark Warner won in 2008, defeating Jim Gilmore to take John Warner’s place when he retired. Mark Warner is not running this year.

Brat on May 22, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Interesting thing to note is that many of Obama’s 2008 big finance donors are now on Romney’s side. Example, below are Obama’s top 20 sources of campaign funds in 2008 listed by employer or PAC.

1. University of California 2012 #3
2. Goldman Sachs 2012 not in top 20 #1 for Romney
3. Harvard University 2102 #6
4. Microsoft Corp 2012 #1
5. Google Inc 2012 #5
6. JPMorgan Chase & Co 2012 not in top 20 #3 for Romney
7. Citigroup Inc 2012 not in top 20 #6 for Romney

8. Time Warner 2012 #11
9. Sidley Austin LLP 2012 #4
10. Stanford University 2012 #13
11. National Amusements Inc 2012 #15
12. WilmerHale LLP 2012 #18
13. Columbia University 2012 #16
14. Skadden, Arps et al 2012 #8
15. UBS AG 2012 not in top 20 #12 for Romney
16. IBM Corp 2012 not in top 20
17. General Electric 2012 not in top 20
18. US Government 2012 #12
19. Morgan Stanley 2012 not in top 20 #4 for Romney
20. Latham & Watkins 2012 not in top 20

So 20% of Obama’s top 20 donors of 2008 have flipped to Romney’s top 20.

crosspatch on May 22, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Opps, meant 25% of Obama’s top 20 donors are now in Romney’s top 20.

crosspatch on May 22, 2012 at 4:44 PM

I am seeing a pattern:

1) 0bama campaign launches incredibly lame attack.
2) Romney campaign counters.
3) 0bama campaign sinks to new low of ineptitude.

StubbleSpark on May 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

You’re right. Shows how unused to criticism Obama and his team are.

thebrokenrattle on May 22, 2012 at 4:49 PM

MaiDee on May 22, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Didn’t you see Obomwa on “The View”…?

… Who’s your pick for for the finale of “American Idol”?

/

Seven Percent Solution on May 22, 2012 at 4:51 PM

…usually when someone dances for those people…they reach up…and stick dollars on the strings of the thong…when JugEars dances for those people… they can shove the money in his ears!

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2012 at 4:52 PM

I pretty much agree with most of this post. But since O’bama is Cool and came from Hawai’i, I’m still going to vote for him in November.

Le sigh.

libfreeordie on May 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Fixed.

PS, Warner Brothers’ legal office just called. They already hold the trademark and copyright for the phrase “Le sigh” (Pepe le Pew VS ASPCA, 1957)

Del Dolemonte on May 22, 2012 at 5:07 PM

I think I am going to “invest” in a new freakin’ President this November.

Brian1972 on May 22, 2012 at 5:13 PM

If hookers had a union, they should be suing. Losing that “oldest profession” tag has to cost them (if this keeps up they go from “win” to “show” and the payouts decrease a lot).

teejk on May 22, 2012 at 5:17 PM

I am seeing a pattern:

1) 0bama campaign launches incredibly lame attack.
2) Romney campaign counters.
3) 0bama campaign sinks to new low of ineptitude.

StubbleSpark on May 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

4) media claim anyone who refutes to obama postion is a racist
5) media tout a fake poll showing how obamas briliant strategy is working!

t8stlikchkn on May 22, 2012 at 5:17 PM

I am seeing a pattern:

1) 0bama campaign launches incredibly lame attack.
2) Romney campaign counters.
3) 0bama campaign sinks to new low of ineptitude.

StubbleSpark on May 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

4. Rinse and repeat

This has been going on for over two months now overlaid on top of a gasping economy that’s actually getting worse…

dogsoldier on May 22, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Sorry for the error on Warner. I’ve corrected it.

Ed Morrissey on May 22, 2012 at 5:43 PM

What is wrong with these people?

curved space on May 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I would guess they’re trying to buy their way into his protected crony capitalist circle.

dentarthurdent on May 22, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Obama: Hey guys I’ll have alot more flexibility after I’m re-elected to offer you those cushy “secret” positions in my administration, but first I have to get re-elected. So just go along with me while I publicly bad-mouth capitalism and private-equity firms, ok?

Capitalists: Of course, Mr. President. Good plan, sir.

Flora Duh on May 22, 2012 at 5:54 PM

MaiDee on May 22, 2012 at 4:11 PM

But, how do you REALLY feel?

What a great comment….it could apply to virtually any political discussion this year!

rhbandsp on May 22, 2012 at 6:01 PM

What is wrong with these people?

curved space on May 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM

It’s the reason Willie Sutton robbed banks. DC is where the money is.

Corporations give so that their lobbyists can have more access and thus influence over policy. They give so that they can tilt the playing field in their favor versus their competitors, especially the smaller ones who cannot compete for favors or afford the high barriers to entry that DC creates at their behest.

MJBrutus on May 22, 2012 at 6:04 PM

It’s the double standard, their hedge funds are ok, the rest are not, remember when Chelsea Clinton worked for a hedge fund, and she married a guy (Mesvinnski) who was an investment banker at a hedge fund, he was worth 6 million dollars all earned himself by age 30, his mom was a congress woman, and his dad was in jail for some kind of money related crime?

Chelsea hedge funds are ok. Obama private equity donations are ok. Obama can fight the war on terror, Bush could not. Obama does everything Bush did, Bush got no end of whining when he just did what was right.

TARP was created by and for republicans. Everyone in Obama’s finance team came from Goldman Sachs. Jon Corzine came from Goldman Sacs. Obviously they don’t want you to be tempted to lie and cheat and steal like they do.

Fleuries on May 22, 2012 at 7:16 PM

At this point, I don’t think the term “hypocrisy” cuts it any more with this president…It so far past “hypocrisy” that we need a new term to describe it…

I’m going with “HYPOCROBAMACY”…

Political Wrinkles
http://politicalwrinkles.com

cnredd on May 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM