President Obama definitely faces an uphill battle is his campaign for re-election in 2012.
Although Obama raked in lots of cash last night from a dinner at the Upper East Side restaurant Daniel — where about 70 hedge-funders and other deep pocketed donors forked over $35,800 a head — it was big-time execs turning down the invitation who raised eyebrows.
Both JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon and Citigroup boss Vikram Pandit had made it clear they would not attend the event, which was closed to the press.
Also planning to skip the event were Blackstone Group President Tony James and its top real-estate exec, Jonathan Gray; Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman and its president, Greg Fleming; and Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn.
“I think there are a lot of Wall Street-types who are unhappy,” said a financial exec who has supported Obama in the past.
“Do I think everyone’s going to abandon the president? I’d say no — I’m not going to abandon him — but I get the sense he’s going to get far less support than he did in the past.”
The POTUS is no dummy though, he has enough self-awareness to recognize his own dwindling popularity:
“I know that it’s not going to be exactly the same as when I was young and vibrant and new,” he said. “Let’s face it, it was cool to support me back then [in 2008] . . . Now I’m sort of old news.”
Additionally, Obama’s support amongst the gay community seems to be contingent on him taking a stance on gay marriage.
Even Obama’s first stop, at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, where as many as 600 gays, bisexuals and transgendered people paid at least $1,250 apiece, showcased the gap between the president and his base.
Obama stopped short of calling for same-sex nups — disappointing some of his supporters.
At one point, some hecklers shouted “Marriage!”
To which Obama responded, “I hear you, guys. Believe it or not, I anticipated that.”
He took pains to say he was raised to abhor discrimination.
“I was born that way,” he said, an apparent riff on Lady Gaga’s gay anthem “Born This Way.”
Has your opinion about President Obama changed after these past few years? Do you still plan to support him in the 2012 election??
Caption this picture of our stressed out Commander-In-Chief.