President Obama—who famously angered Wall Street executives by calling them “fat cats,” the New York Times reminds us—is now courting those same executives in his quest for re-election campaign contributions. He kicked off the push by hosting two dozen of them, many longtime donors, at the White House weeks before announcing his campaign to talk regulation, the deficit, and economic recovery. And, in a move at least one financier finds ironic, he will soon host more bankers, execs, and investors at posh New York restaurant Daniel, where the six-course meal runs $195 per "fat cat."
Obama's campaign manager and other supporters have also been meeting with Wall Street donors as part of Obama’s effort to win them back. To do so, he must convince them that his policies have actually helped to speed the recovery of banks and financial markets. But Wall Street is still unhappy about the president’s efforts to tighten regulation, and many of his past donors are still sitting on the sidelines at this point. Some of those are Republicans who supported him in 2008 as a post-partisan candidate but no longer see him the same way. One hedge fund manager and former Obama donor hosted a fundraiser last week—for Mitt Romney.