NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — After making a long form version of his birth certificate public, President Barack Obama flew to New York on Wednesday afternoon to tap Wall Street cash registers for campaign funds.
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But his latest trip wasn’t expected to flow quite so freely, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
New York City has been one of the president’s favorite places to raise campaign cash, but his anti-Wall Street policies appear to have taken their toll. Some hedge fund managers have now apparently turned their backs on the Democrats and are supporting the Republicans — to the tune of millions of dollars.
Wednesday marked Obama’s third trip to the city in the past few months to tap the political cash that in the past had moved quickly into the Democratic Party coffers. He dined with fat cats at the Red Rooster in Harlem in March and attended an event with The Rev. Al Sharpton in April.
But he may have run into some trouble on Wednesday because the cash cow hedge fund managers, fed up with his policies, have been moving to the Republican troughs.
An example: Wall Streeter Daniel Loeb was one of President Obama’s biggest fundraisers in 2008, rounding up $200,000 for him. But since Obama’s inauguration, Loeb has given $468,000 to Republicans candidates and the GOP and just $8,000 to Democrats.
Why the switch?
“Anybody that’s got the idea that Barack Obama is going to be able to go out and say ‘give me some money,’ they better have another thing coming in economic times like this when gas prices are where they are. It’s going to be hard,” CBS News political expert Bob Schieffer said.
Regardless, three fundraisers were scheduled across midtown Manhattan, including an event at the home of financier and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and a dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
Corzine, who lost his political job in 2009 despite Obama’s efforts to help him get re-elected, is a former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. He has deep ties to the financial industry, which felt battered by Obama’s rhetoric blaming the financial crisis on “fat cat” Wall Street bankers. The industry also chafed at the subsequent overhaul of financial regulations.
Corzine now heads MF Global Inc., a financial services firm, and Obama has begun trying to repair his relations with the business sector.
From Corzine’s home, Obama headed to Park Avenue for a dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria, followed by a concert-style event at the Town Hall theater primarily for his younger supporters and featuring The Roots, a hip-hop band from Philadelphia.
“My name is Barack Obama. I was born in Hawaii, the 50th state of the United States of America,” he said to loud cheers Wednesday night.
Since he became a candidate for re-election on April 4, Obama has embarked on an aggressive inaugural fundraising tour that included three events in Chicago on April 14 and six events in two days last week in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Obama raised $750 million for the 2008 campaign and hopes to top that for his re-election.
Earlier on Wednesday the White House released Obama’s birth certificate, but many are wondering if the move will be enough to put to all the rumors to rest.
“We are not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” Obama said.
It was clear from Obama’s tone that he felt the need to release a longer form of his birth certificate — it says he was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961– was not necessary for a man who is already the leader of the nation.
“We do not have time for this silliness,” Obama said.
But the president did have a sense of humor about the whole thing during a taping with Oprah Winfrey prior to coming to New York City, reports CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
“Can I just say, I was there, so I knew. I knew I had been born there. I remembered it,” Obama said to laughs.
Obama released the certificate because some in the Republican Party have been fanning the flames, suggesting that the president is not an American citizen and so not qualified to be in office.
Obama never named Donald Trump as one of the “carnival barkers,” but the never-bashful Trump took full credit, saying he was “honored to have played such a big roll.”
By not fully accepting the birth certificate Trump was clearly trying to play into the hands of the Obama opponents.
A poll last week showed large numbers of voters continue to doubt Obama is a natural-born American citizen.
Do you think New York will abandon the president? Please off your thoughts in the comments section below.
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