During Morning Joe on Thursday, MSNBC's Chuck Todd appeared baffled by a discussion of negative feelings directed towards Barack Obama from Wall Street. The confused journalist wondered, "Look, at the end of the day, he has not done that much when it comes to business stuff."
Mad Money host Jim Cramer relayed to Todd that Wall Street is upset because, "Most of the people on Wall Street are behind the scenes guys" and the President is demagoging the issue and demonizing them. Todd argued that, regardless of what the President does, "He is getting trapped and hit from both sides, but it isn't just that, this is how sour the American public is."
To understand why Wall Street and the American public might be "sour," one needs to look no further than the cap and trade energy proposal, health care, the financial reform bill, the stimulus, or the nationalization of the automobile and student loan sectors.
Perhaps Todd could listen to what a colleague on CNBC said. Back in February, Maria Bartiromo asserted that "there are a lot of people on Wall Street and in business increasingly that have said to me actually, 'I don’t know that I would vote the same today given the fact that we did not expect he was so much to the left, and we did not expect that there was going to be such a big bite in business.' I mean, that’s a fact."
Recently the media have been expressing incredulity at Barack Obama's falling poll numbers. This includes MSNBC's news anchor Contessa Brewer lamenting that after everything President Obama has done, "What else do people want?" Sounding a similar note, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Thursday touted, after all of Obama's achievements, "What more could the President have done?"
The transcript of August 12, 2010, segment is available here:
MIKE BARNICLE: One of the financial battle grounds is Wall Street where huge numbers of people normally Republicans voted for, supported financially Barack Obama. Do you sense a lot of buyer’s remorse on Wall Street?
JIM CRAMER: He is so much more hated than Bush! It really is amazing. You can't even mention him. You can't even mention him. This is on Wall Street only.
CHUCK TODD: Why? I don't get it. He hasn't done that much.
CRAMER: Because, if you work at Goldman Sachs your little child says to you, daddy, are you in trouble? When you work at Morgan Stanley you know you're hated. J.P Morgan is going to be getting the GM deal already we hate- people say those rip-off guys at JP Morgan got the deal. Well you know, somebody has to do the deal.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: By the way, GM, let's talk good news for a second.
CRAMER: Thank you.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Great earnings from GM and Ford on the way back and Detroit, rock city. Detroit is coming back.
SCARBOROUGH: Sorry to hijack that, but this is exciting.
CRAMER: Detroit is the most exciting industrial part of this country. These companies are hiring. We happen to have two of the greatest CEOs. It does matter. Ed Whitaker at GM off the charts fabulous was great at ATT. Al Malally, CEO of the year, fighting for jobs with that honor.
SCARBOROUGH: Back to Wall Street. It seems to me the left doesn't like, and Chuck is right- Why do they hate him? The left doesn't think he went far enough.
CRAMER: Well, look, I think what has happened on Wall Street is you are not used to being in the public glare. Most of the people on Wall Street are behind the scenes guys. Suddenly, they are thrust
SCARBOROUGH: Do they think the President is being a demagogue?
CRAMER: Yes. Exactly. I mean all I hear about is Huey Long is and I got guys who don't even know who Huey Long is and they are talking about him.
TODD: Wait a minute. Are you kidding?
CRAMER: No! I'm not kidding you.
TODD: What reality do they live in? I mean. Look, at the end of the day, he has not done that much when it comes to business stuff.
CRAMER: Have you seen the White House.gov, the little video that they did? I am not kidding that was one of the greatest attacks I've seen. Every bank is a casino. It was South Park.
SCARBOROUGH: That was on the White House website?
CRAMER: Yea, if you go and look at this thing what happened in the crisis.
CRAMER: All it's about it says casino and the American banking system. Casino! You know, not everybody is a jerk!
TODD: But the rhetoric isn't matching the policy. True?
CRAMER: Chuck, well, there is a lot of belief that Bernanke is going to set the policy and he doesn't care about rich/poor. He just cares about hiring people and jobs.
SCARBOROUGH: Chuck, though it may shock you, because I think we are in New York and we cross paths with these guys a lot.
TODD: So, It’s the real people. The real Americans.
SCARBORUGH: No, but I'm saying you know Washington.
TODD: No, I know.
SCARBOROUGH: We hear it day in.
TODD: I know.
SCARBORUGH: And day out.
TODD: I know.
SCARBOROUGH: So, let's talk about the political impact of that. I think it's significant. People in Wall Street have been embarrassed to be associated with Republican Party for a long time.
SCARBOROUGH: They think they are anti-intellectual and based in the South and demagogic. Now I have so many people coming up to me on Wall Street with so much money saying I never voted Democratic before. Please, find me a Republican I can write a huge check to.
SCARBOROUGH: It seems to me that this is financially a big hit for Democrats who a lot of people across the country don't realize that democrats have owned Wall Street.
TODD: I wouldn't say owned. They have made inroads.
SCARBOROUGH: Barack Obama got more money from Wall Street than anybody else. Again, most people on Wall Street are embarrassed of the national Republican Party.
TODD: Let's remember, Bill Clinton and Bob Rubin opened that door.
TODD: Chuck Schumer, minded as well as anybody we were talking about natural resources. Chuck Schumer minded Wall Street money for the Democratic party and created this way where Barack Obama came in and was able to have success and there's a whole bunch of former Democrats that worked on Wall Street and sort of one thing led to another and they were able to split that money. But what it's really bizarre about this is there not doing a lot of this regulation. There is this fear they are going to do it and the reality is those guys aren't going to do these things that business is worried about. So, you're wondering is it a game of posturing? Is this just a negotiating ploy?
CRAMER: Look. Image does matter. The belief that you're not doing something harmful does matter. You don't want to be named a fat cat. No one wants to be a fat cat in this country. You can't be called a racist and don't want to be called a fat cat. Every single guy on Wall Street is suddenly from New Jersey. Chris Christie could raise $5 hundred million tomorrow to run for president of the United States.
CHUCK TODD: Do you really think a guy who is funded by Wall Street? This is where there is a disconnect. Populace America is mad at Wall Street as they are at Washington.
CRAMER: Do you think they are mad at Christie?
TODD: No. They are just as mad at Wall Street as Washington. You have to be careful. If you end up being the candidate of Wall Street is not going to play well.
SCARBOROUGH: Here is the disconnect I think not only with Wall Street but business. Another thing we hear time and time and time again. Time and time and time again. You talk to somebody that has gone into the White House and talked to these people, they all say the same thing. Nobody there has run a business.
TODD: That is very true. That's a huge problem.
SCARBOROUGH: They don't know whether that is the reality or not on Wall Street and in the business community, they think there is this disconnect that Barack Obama is a professor and he doesn't understand how to create jobs. Mike, would you not agree? And you hear it, Mike, do you not, from left wing Democrats that have never voted for a Republican before.
BARNICLE: Who maxed out to Barack Obama the first six seconds of his campaign.
CRAMER: How much to they hate Summers. Summers is hated as much as he was hated when at Harvard!
BARNICLE: Larry Summers, go back to the faculty lounge. You also here, Joe, from big people in Wall Street what is the most prominent financial crisis currently holding the country back? Probably housing and the mortgage crisis. What you hear from them is they could get the heads of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan into the White House and put them in a room and put sandwiches on the table and bring a couple of people from Treasury in and say figure it out how to fix it. They could fix it but the White House won't make that step because they have demonized themselves.
SCARBOROUGH: I will tell you there is one guy in particular that I believe that Barack Obama supposedly used to be close to.
BARNICLE: Bob Wolfe?
CRAMER: Jamie is getting the gm deal so maybe there is a peace offering.
SCARBOROUGH: If Jamie Diamond, Barack Obama needs to talk to him.
TODD: Jim, the government bailout of the auto industry seemed to work. It seems to be working. You were just raving about GM.
TODD: So why isn't that confidence in the government figuring out how to do the GM deal correctly. Why isn't that confidence translate to go the rest of the business community?
CRAMER: They don't know how on embrace a win. They go to some little battery company in Michigan that would be defunct if it weren't for their checks but where is Al Malalley? Why aren't they embracing Whitaker? Whitaker says I want the government out of my company.