James Johnson Decides To Support Obama

For more than a decade, perhaps no Democrat in Washington better exemplified the city's political-corporate-cultural elite than James A. Johnson, the former head of Fannie Mae.

Johnson, according to two Democrats, including one with direct knowledge of the decision, will support Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

Mr., Johnson did not respond to e-mails and a telephone calling seeking his confirmation or a comment. He is famously reluctant to speak to the press, which is one reason why he has become a trusted adviser to so many politcians.

In 2004, Johnson was tapped by Sen. John Kerry to direct his vice-presidential search process. There were no leaks.

His resume spans the elite axis of the entreprenurial, the artistic, and the political. He was CEO of Fannie Mae before that job became controversial, has served as chairman of the Kennedy Center, and was a senior aide to Walter Mondale before settling into life as vice chairman of Perseus, LLC, one of those big private equity banks in DC.

According to Bob Shrum's new book, Kerry wanted Johnson to serve as his White House chief of staff.

Johnson is married to Maxine Isaacs, a professor at the Kennedy School of Government who is a political force in her own right.