Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Buffett Buffs the Democratic Brand: $1 Million and an Attempt to Give Hillary The Oracle's Shine

NEW YORK – The "Oracle of Omaha" has spoken. Raising over $1 million in one night for Sen. Hillary Clinton, Warren Buffett buffed the Democratic brand by making it okay to be rich – and caring. In publicizing the fact that his effective tax rate is almost half that of his receptionist, Buffett brought home the dirty little secret of the post-new economy, the upper crust has never been more advantaged. By exclaiming, "If you're in the luckiest 1 percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent,'' Buffett is daring his fellow billionaires to have a conscience – and to buy into both the Democratic and the Hillary brands.

Will Buffett's support buff Senator Clinton's campaign's campaign? Perhaps. Buffett is, perhaps, the keenest stock picker in history. So, it is likely that some folks will regard his endorsement as a profound show of support from the mandarin of American business. In a general election, this might help Senator Clinton sway moderate Republicans and independent voters. However, this very public suport from such a powerful business leader might also play against Senator Clinton in the Democratic primaries – and it might lift Senator Edwards' "people versus the powerful" trope to the level of policy by demonstrating the "why" behind his efforts.

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