George Soros: If Obama Can't Please Left, They May Look 'Somewhere Else'

But would he really back a primary challenger?

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On Tuesday, liberal billionaire George Soros suggested to donors at a private gathering that they might want to support someone other than Obama. The Huffington Post's Sam Stein had the report:

"We have just lost this election, we need to draw a line," he said, according to several Democratic sources. "And if this president can't do what we need, it is time to start looking somewhere else."

When you're George Soros, you can't really say something like that and not have it be national news. So does this mean he'd back a primary challenger on the left? Probably not, say commentators, though it seems like a warning.

  • Caveat  "While Soros's comment," writes Stein, "gave some attendees the impression that he'd cheer a primary challenge to the president, the point, sources say, was different. Rather, it is time to shuffle funds into a progressive infrastructure that will take on the tasks that the president can't or won't take on."
  • This Seems More Like a Warning  "Stein is probably right," judges Mediaite's Tommy Christopher, "to believe Soros' explanation that he wants to fund groups like The Center for American Progress." That said, Christopher also thinks Keith Olbermann, who interviewed Stein on his show, "is on to something when he identifies Soros' wording as something of a 'purpose pitch,' a warning to the administration to back up off of the bipartisan home plate."
  • 'Meaningless Blather,' declares conservative Allahpundit cheerfully, "aimed at applying a bit of pressure to The One in case he’s tempted to meet Boehner in the middle, but still way, way too fun not to blog." Why he thinks Soros wasn't serious about a primary challenge to Obama:
as we've discussed here umpteen times before, you'll never beat him. He’ll clean up among black Democrats, as he did in 2008, and he'll win plenty of centrist Dems alienated by the hard-leftism of whoever's dumb enough to challenge him.
  • Soros Could Make Trouble  "The Left's dissatisfaction with the Obama administration is widely known, but mounting a primary challenge against Obama from the left in 2012 has never seemed like a realistic option," explains Andrew Stiles at National Review. "That said, if Soros decides to put his money where his mouth is, things could get interesting."
A spokesman for Soros told the Huffington Post that Soros "fully supports the president as the leader of the Democratic Party. He was not suggesting that we seek another candidate for 2012 ... His comments were made in a private, informal conversation that was about the need for progressives to be more forceful in promoting their agenda. He was stressing the importance of being heard by elected officials." He just didn't expect anyone would, you know, hear him.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.