Democrats Heart Jeb
He may not excite the GOP base, but the hedge-fund crowd is on board
You have to hand it to the Bushes. They may not have been great at raising the GDP, but they’re great at raising OPM — other people’s money.
Already far outpacing all of his competitors in the race to build his campaign war chest, Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, is just off another whirlwind fundraising jaunt to the Hamptons, the East Coast playground to investment bankers and hedge-funders. And there, according to Bloomberg, Bush is attracting not only Republican Masters of the Universe — Dems are lining up, too.
“This guy sells well,” Kenneth Lipper, a registered Democrat and host of one of the big events, told Bloomberg. In fact, of the 70 or so in attendance, half were Democrat, and according to Lipper, nearly all wrote checks to the Bush campaign, which took in a haul of $230,000.
It is worth noting that of the $114 million the Bush operation raised through June, $103 million came through his Super PAC, which can accept donations in excess of $1 million.
If Jeb could fire up the base like he fires up the Billionaire’s Club, he wouldn’t have to worry about Trump.
So what do Wall Street Democrats, most of whom are notoriously liberal on social issues, see in Jeb Bush? What do they think they’ll get from a Bush presidency? (During the Hamptons tour, Bush was introduced as a president who would restore “civility” to politics.) While working-class America hasn’t seen a median wage increase for ages, the past six years have been very, very good to bankers. It is thus logical to conclude that they think Bush won’t upset the status quo. Heaven forbid if they have to downsize from a 200-foot yacht to the squat 120-foot variety.
The Bloomberg report will no doubt send fear and trepidation through the hearts of some of the other establishment GOP candidates in the 2016 presidential race — Marco Rubio and Chris Christie come to mind. But it is also a reminder of the disconnect between the grassroots and the Donor Class.
If Jeb could fire up the base like he fires up the Billionaire’s Club, he wouldn’t have to worry about Trump. And if he spent at least as much time much catering to the concerns of regular working-class Americans as he does to the crowd in Brentwood and Greenwich, he wouldn’t have to answer so many questions about whether he’s just a carbon copy of his brother.