View Full Version : Cold $houlder for O. Obama Snubbed By Wall Street Democrats

06-24-2011, 11:21 PM
President Obama hit the Big Apple last night hoping to score a fund-raising hat trick for his re-election campaign -- but he faced lackluster donors tired of being taken for granted and some pointed no-shows by prominent Wall Streeters.

"The Democratic business-donor community is demoralized," a Democratic fund-raiser told The Post before the three cash-currying events Obama was attending in Manhattan over a three-hour span. "There's not the level of enthusiasm or excitement. They don't believe he's interested in what they have to say."

Among those feeling burned by Obama are financial execs sick of being demonized by the White House and made a scapegoat for the nation's economic woes.

Although Obama raked in lots of cash last night from a dinner at the Upper East Side restaurant Daniel -- where about 70 hedge-funders and other deep pocketed donors forked over $35,800 a head -- it was big-time execs turning down the invitation who raised eyebrows.

Both JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon and Citigroup boss Vikram Pandit had made it clear they would not attend the event, which was closed to the press.

Also planning to skip the event were Blackstone Group President Tony James and its top real-estate exec, Jonathan Gray; Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman and its president, Greg Fleming; and Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn.

"Do I think everyone's going to abandon the president? I'd say no -- I'm not going to abandon him -- but I get the sense he's going to get far less support than he did in the past."

Even Obama's first stop, at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, where as many as 600 gays, bisexuals and transgendered people paid at least $1,250 apiece, showcased the gap between the president and his base.

Obama stopped short of calling for same-sex nups -- disappointing some of his supporters.

At one point, some hecklers shouted "Marriage!"

To which Obama responded, "I hear you, guys. Believe it or not, I anticipated that."

He took pains to say he was raised to abhor discrimination.

Appropriately, Obama closed the curtain on his New York visit on the Great White Way, speaking at a special performance of the Broadway show "Sister Act."

The Democratic National Committee rented the theater -- to the dismay of show-goers who had purchased tickets for last night's performance and were not told in advance they'd have to exchange them for another date.

Even famous New Yorkers were inconvenienced by Obama's visit. Martin Scorsese couldn't get to his Upper East Side home because the Secret Service had closed off his block. The Oscar-winning director laughed it off and said he still thinks Obama's a good fella.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/cold_houlder_for_lhIReVhhogNwWSI5CZlI5I#ixzz1QFafW IWo