Wall Street Donors to Clinton: Pick Warren and Your Fundraising Gets It

By
Senate Health Committee Holds Hearing On Combating Sexual Assault
War on Warren.Photo: Astrid Riecken/2015 Getty Images

Wall Street donors have a message for Hillary Clinton: You can have our cash or Elizabeth Warren as your running mate, but you can’t have both. Dozens of anonymous financial fat cats tell Politico that Vice-President Warren would be “damaging to the economy” — especially the “economy” of Hillary for America.

If Clinton picked Warren, her whole base on Wall Street would leave her,” a top Democratic donor told the political-news outlet. “They would literally just say, ‘We have no qualms with you moving left, we understand all the things you’ve had to do because of Bernie Sanders, but if you are going there with Warren, we just can’t trust you, you’ve killed it.’”

If the Clinton campaign decided to plant a story to amplify the credibility-enhancing potential of a Warren pick to grieving Sandernistas, this is pretty much how it would read: The dozens of big-money donors all insisted on anonymity because “they feared Warren’s wrath”; they warn that a Vice-President Warren could jeopardize a deal on their preferred version of corporate tax “reform”; they suggest Warren doesn’t feel “comfortable spending time with the rich people you need to raise money from"; and they say there is a “chance for much better relations between business and the White House than during President Barack Obama’s tenure” — a tenure that was so unfriendly to business, it featured the bailout of the financial sector, a “free trade” agreement that actually offers trade protection to well-connected American industries, and a cabinet staffed with no small number of former Wall Street executives — but not if Warren is in the White House serving as the wet-blanket-in-chief.

Every quote in the piece reads like it was given by Warren, disguised in a fake mustache, top hat, and monocle. But there’s no reason to doubt the sincerity of Wall Street’s antipathy for the senator. Warren created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which makes it more difficult for the finance industry to scam ordinary investors, and led the charge for the Obama administration’s “fiduciary rule,” which requires investment advisers to put the financial interests of their clients ahead of their own — in other words, traders can no longer gamble with grandmas’ rent money. And, of course, Warren is one of the party’s strongest advocates for breaking up the big banks.

The threat these donors are making isn’t an idle one. The Clinton campaign has received $28 million from the securities and investment industry during the 2016 cycle so far, considerably more than it’s taken in from any other sector, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Still, Warren has many advocates within the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party more broadly. Among those reportedly pushing for her selection is Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. And sources close to the campaign told Politico that she remains a top contender for second-in-command.