Barack Banking on Buffett

By |
Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

When newspapers and websites write about the policy preferences of billionaire Obama fundraiser Warren Buffett, they tend to omit the fact that he is an Obama fundraiser. So I was pleased to see the liberal Mother Jones magazine spell out the various ways in which Obama "Banks on Warren Buffett."

A sampling, from MoJo reporter Andy Kroll:

On Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama will jet off to Omaha, Neb., where she'll attend an Obama campaign fundraiser. Hosting the Omaha event (attendees who donate $5,000 can meet and take a photo with the First Lady) will be none other than Warren Buffett, the "Oracle of Omaha," an Obama campaign official told Mother Jones. And joining Michelle Obama and Warren Buffett at the Omaha fundraiser will be Susie Buffett, Warren's daughter....

President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, the First Lady, and their allies have repeatedly invoked the Buffett name on their travels around the country to raise money for the president's re-election effort. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina has also highlighted the Buffett Rule in emails to supporters asking for donations....

Last September, Warren Buffett headlined an Obama fundraiser at the Four Seasons restaurant in midtown Manhattan. The event, billed as an "economic forum" with Buffett as the expert and former Obama aide Austan Goolsbee as the moderator, asked for up to $35,800 to be a "host." To get in the door guests needed to pony up a minimum of $10,000 a head. The biggest donors enjoyed a "VIP reception" with the Oracle of Omaha himself....

Buffett gave $5,000 to Obama's political action committee in the 2006 election cycle, and Buffett also held a fundraiser in Omaha in August 2007 for Obama.

The president and his backers frequently invoke the Buffett name—almost always when discussing the Buffett Rule—as they rustle up money for the 2012 election. Warren Buffett, the Buffett Rule, or Buffett's secretary have been mentioned more than a dozen times at fundraisers dating back to last September....

For Tuesday's Omaha fundraiser featuring Warren and Susie Buffett, an Obama campaign official said approximately 200 people were expected to attend. Ticket prices started at $250 a person, with all money raised going to the Obama re-election effort.

If you're interested in learning more about Buffett's public-policy profiteering, check out these stories:

View article comments Leave a comment