Trail of Hsu's Ambition Leads to Prison

Business washout satisfied thirst for power in political fundraising
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2007 1:35 PM CST
Norman Hsu smiles at an unidentified supporter, left, as he arrives at a San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City, Calif., Friday, Aug. 31, 2007. Hsu, a top Democratic fundraiser wanted as a fugitive...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – After several failed business schemes in the 1980s and 1990s, Norman Hsu went home to Hong Kong to recoup and plan an ego-boosting second try at the American fast lane. The Journal fills in the gaps in Hsu’s story, revealing the busted bundler as a capable manipulator obsessed with respect—and in thrall to Hillary Clinton.

Hsu inspired tremendous investor confidence for botched and often fake businesses, but it was as a fundraising rainmaker that he was most capable—extracting contributions even from Republicans. Private Clinton keepsakes, including recorded speeches, show the esteem he attached to the superstar’s trust. Hsu’s reflections shed light on the personality that wooed big spenders: “Some people are just born liars…it is their habit.”