President Obama and the Democratic Party are now going to attempt to “regulate” Wall Street. I have the feeling it will be handled much like they “regulated” health care – with insurance companies writing the bulk of the bill. So will Goldman Sachs et al be writing this one? In the interest of image management as he takes on this latest mess, Mr. Obama is once again attempting to come across as a man of the people with his latest whopper:
“The vast majority of the money I got was from small donors all across the country.”
– Barack Obama on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 interview with CNBC’s John Harwood
“Vast majority.” According to Politifact, the Truth-O-Meter Says: FALSE!!!!
Obama campaign financed by large donors, too.
More of CNBC’s John Harwood and his interview with the President:
“In the 2008 campaign, you got a lot of money, about $1 million from employees of Goldman Sachs,” Harwood said. “Your former White House counsel Greg Craig is apparently going to represent Goldman Sachs. In light of this case, do either of those things embarrass you?”
“No,” Obama said. “First of all, I got a lot of money from a lot of people. And the vast majority of the money I got was from small donors all across the country. And moreover, anybody who gave me money during the course of my campaign knew that I was on record again in 2007, and 2008, pushing very strongly that we needed to reform how Wall Street did business. And so, nobody should be surprised in the position that I’m taking now because it is one that I was very clear about in the course of the campaign.”
Clearly, nothing embarrasses President Obama because he sort of made it up as he went along on the campaign trail and nary a soul in the media called him out on it.
Politifact pointed out the evidence didn’t back up Mr. Obama’s statement. More important, he got more from Wall Street than any other candidate. The public records bears this out:
While Obama got more money from small donors than his opponents, they did not account for the majority of his funds.
In the general election, Obama got about 34 percent of his individual donations from small donors, people who gave $200 or less, according to a report from the Campaign Finance Institute. Another 23 percent of donations came from people who gave between $201 and $999, and another 42 percent from people who gave $1,000 or more.
His numbers for the primary were similar….
These numbers were compiled by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute, and included in a report Reform in an Age of Networked Campaigns, which was published jointly with the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute.
During the campaign, Obama ended up opting out of the public financing system for presidential candidates, because the system limits how much money candidates can raise, and Obama realized he could raise much more money outside of the system.
Well, he did more than “opt-out” – he backed out of a written promise he made to take public financing.
…John Harwood, was correct when he said Obama got about $1 million from employees of Goldman Sachs; the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics puts the number at $994,795.
A topic for newsroom and pundit chatter this week has been the peculiar timing of the investigation of Goldman Sachs given the administration’s push for Wall Street regulation.
Another article, Goldman’s White House Connection Raises Eyebrows, reported:
Several former Goldman executives hold senior positions in the Obama administration, including Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Mark Patterson, a former Goldman lobbyist who is chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; and Robert Hormats, the undersecretary of state for economic, energy and agricultural affairs.
Jacobs of the University of Minnesota said that the administration now risks “kind of a feeding frenzy.”
“The administration has to be very careful,” he said, “because . . . they’re seen as the ones who bailed out Wall Street. If there are indications that the administration was talking to regulators or to Justice Department people about when and how Goldman or other firms would be investigated, I think that’s going to create almost a mob scene.”
And now we also know the CEO of Goldman Sachs has visited the White House several times. President Obama seems to enjoy railing against the very groups he likes making deals with behind closed doors. It would be nice if he acknowledged he is a lot more banker-friendly than he lets on.