No Billionaire Left Behind

By day he is warning fellow Democrats that if Republicans win control of both chambers in November they'll put the interests of billionaires ahead of the middle class, and by night he has been fundraising among the super-wealthy who pay tens of thousands of dollars a plate to dine with him.

One mix of big givers and celebrities paid up to $32,400 a plate recently to break bread with the President at the $16-million Greenwich, CT, estate owned by his ironically-named host Rich Richman.  Richman and his wife, Ellen Schapps Richman, are major givers to Democrats and to Jewish causes in Connecticut and Palm Beach, Florida. She was named one of the most influential Jews in the state in 2009 by the Connecticut Jewish Ledger. 

It’s not easy to claim to be a friend of the poor while palling around with Richie Rich.

But it is common for both parties to poor mouth to their contributors while exaggerating the "massive sums" the opposition is raising to use "against us," as Obama told one gathering of the top one percent.

Both parties have their stables of billionaires.  Democrats are less comfortable cavorting with them in public lest it tarnish their appeal to their middle class base, hence the low-profile visit to Greenwich. 

It’s not uncommon for some candidates and office holders of the incumbent president’s party to pointedly avoid attending those events lest they be tagged elitists. In addition, Democrats in some instances avoided events with the President to avoid being tarnished by his low approval ratings among voters of both parties, and especially independents. Even his wife has been told to stay away despite her personal popularity.  It's not Michelle, it's her last name.

Lacking any compelling issues, Republicans are trying to make this election about Obama.  That's why you'll see so many GOP attack ads pumping up the importance of their candidate, as in the Virginia senate race against Democratic incumbent Mark Warner, by referring to the Warner-Obama administration.

Both parties do it. This year it’s the Republicans’ turn.  

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.