Today’s meeting will include more than 10 labor and progressive leaders: Mary Kay Henry, SEIU; Lee Saunders, AFSCME; Dennis Van Roekel, NEA; Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO; Neera Tanden and John Podesta, Center for American Progress; Bob Greenstein, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities; Laura Burton Capps, Common Purpose Project; Max Richtman, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare; Justin Ruben, MoveOn; Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change.
Tanden, the president of liberal think tank Center for American Progress, was recently quoted in New York Magazine saying: “The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.”
He may not like them, but Obama has been particularly inclined to reward his liberal supporters with easy access to the White House and federal funding for their business interests.
CAP board member and hedge fund titan Tom Steyer has attended at least four meetings at the White House with senior administration officials. He also addressed this year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Steyer raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama’s campaign this cycle, and has personally donated more than $275,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2007.
Steyer recently announced his departure from Farrallon Capital Management, the $20 billion hedge fund he founded in 1986, amid rumors he might pursue political opportunities. Those opportunities could include a White House cabinet position.