2008: ‘Wall Street Primary’

March 8, 2007 at 5:40 pm 1 comment

By Sarah Wheaton

Perhaps taking a cue from labor unions, Bear Stearns is inviting the presidential candidates to make their pitches to the investment firm’s top bankers in New York. The Wall Street Journal reports:

James Cayne, chairman and chief executive of Bear Stearns, said, “People here are besieged by friends and uncles and brothers to give money.” Bringing the candidates to the company’s auditorium, he said, would “take a load off everyone.”

Mr. Cayne said he is inviting senior managing directors to attend separate, 90-minute presentations by each candidate in the company’s auditorium. At the end of each talk, employees will be given information on how they can donate money to the candidate. “There is no arm-twisting, no suggested way to go,” said Mr. Cayne, who says he hasn’t yet committed to a candidate.

The move signals that “the Wall Street primary has begun,” as Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, put it.

As far as the unions go, after they split their support in the 2004 Democratic primary between Howard Dean and Richard Gephardt—and both lost—the A.F.L.-C.I.O. is planning to take it easier on the endorsement process this time around in hopes that a slower approach will lead to broader consensus.

New York (and the 9/11 attacks that occurred there) makes Rudolph W. Giuliani’s candidacy. But, as The Times’s Adam Nagourney writes, the city could break it, too. For example, how might the “Harvey Milk High School for gay students” play in Peoria?

George Pataki, another Empire State figure, said his decision to join a law firm should not be a signal one way or the other about his presidential aspirations.

Senator Barack Obama said his investments were not a conflict of interest and said he sold his stocks in companies backed by top donors when he realized he could not remain blind to his holdings. Meanwhile, his Manhattan fundraiser Friday night is the hottest ticket in town.

Strapped for cash (and a candidate to fall in love with), the Christian Coalition is struggling to have an influence on the 2008 election.

If you think it’s hard to get to the White House from the Senate, try running from the House.

So… You’re an Iowa legislator. You’re in the hospital, practically in labor. The phone rings. It’s Senator Hillary Rodham


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Rachel  |  March 10, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    I we would hear more in the media about the other Presidential cantidates like Duncan Hunter. The media is obsessed with Hillary, Barrack and Rudy. They belong in Hollywood not Washington D.C. Do us a favor and put the spotlight on the cantidates that deserve it for their hard work and dedication to this country.


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