Thursday, August 26, 2004

Ray of Hope 

If Bush loses the plutocrat vote, what's left? From the Financial Times, courtesy of Zemblan patriot J.D.:
Wall Street's enthusiasm for US President George W. Bush appears to have cooled as the presidential race tightens and concerns grow about foreign policy and fiscal deficits.

Some leading fundraisers of Mr Bush's re-election bid have stopped active campaigning and others privately voice reservations.

The New York financial community is expected to give the Republicans a lavish welcome when the president's party arrives for its national convention next week. Wall Street has been a big contributor to Mr Bush's record-breaking re-election fund. But one senior Wall Street figure, once talked of as a possible Bush cabinet member, said that he and other prominent Republicans had been raising money with increasing reluctance. “Many are doing so with a heavy heart and some not at all.” He cited foreign policy and the ballooning federal deficit as Wall Street Republicans' main concerns . . . .

One New York dinner in June 2003 raised more than $4m, partly thanks to the efforts of Stan O'Neal, chief executive of Merrill Lynch. Yet Mr O'Neal has done no fundraising for the campaign at all since then and friends say he is not supporting Mr Bush. “He is best described as independent,” said one. Another senior Wall Street figure, who has given money to the campaign, said he was among many Wall Street bosses who were impressed with Mr Bush's handling of the September 11 attacks. “But since then, I have lost faith over foreign policy and tax,” he said.

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