As noted yesterday, President Obama has made it clear that he intends to use Bain Capital as part of his campaign against Mitt Romney. His team no doubt hopes that they can reignite the same populist craze that put him in the White House by tearing down private equity in the process, despite the fact that he takes their money (a shocker, I know) and took economic advice from Jon Corzine, former head of MF Global.
But a new poll from Rasmussen shows that the attacks aren’t working, and may indeed hurt Obama more than it helps him:
Democrats have begun criticizing Mitt Romney’s business record, but a plurality of voters view the Republican’s business past as a positive.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that Romney’s track record in business is primarily a reason to vote for him. Thirty-three percent (33%) see his business career as chiefly a reason to vote against him. Twenty-two percent (22%) are undecided.
While President Barack Obama often rails against corporate greed and expresses a desire to hike taxes on “millionaires and billionaires,” Wall Street executives — the very same corporatists that conluded with Washington to bring us TARP — are sending a substantial amount of money to his campaign. Justin Elliott explains over at Slate:
The consensus view of President Obama’s State of the Union address is that it was a “populist pitch” that sought to, as the Wall Street Journal reported, “tap widespread anti-Wall Street sentiment and voter anger about economic disparity without scaring independents.”
That take on the Obama reelection campaign strategy is in line with what we’ve been hearing for months out of the White House, which previewed the concept to the Washington Post as early as October, just as the Occupy movement was getting underway.
The tension or perhaps contradiction with this strategy is that, as I’ve been documenting, this administration and the Democratic Party are not fundamentally anti-Wall Street institutions. They have deep ties to the financial services industry.
Aspects of that relationship that have surfaced recently include: Obama’s hiring as a top campaign aide of Broderick Johnson, who had been pursuing a lucrative career lobbying for the big banks; the fact that executives of Bain Capital have contributed generously to Democratic campaigns in recent years; and so on.
In one of his final acts as Governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine (D) signed a bill allowing the use of medicinal marijuana:
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed legislation granting chronically ill patients legal access to marijuana on Monday, one of dozens of bills inked by the governor on his last full day in office.
The governor signed the bill after hours Monday, making New Jersey the 14th state to allow patients with diseases such as cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis to use marijuana to alleviate their pain, nausea and other symptoms.
“New Jersey will soon no longer make criminals out of our very sick and terminally ill,” said Assembly co-sponsor Reed Gusciora.
The legislation allows for dispensaries to be set up around the state where patients with prescriptions can access the drug. The state Health Department will license and monitor the dispensaries.
New Jersey is the 14th state to allow medical marijuana.