President Obama's message to reluctant Wall Street donors is simple: Vote for me because I will win, and you want to be on the side of a winner. It's funny because that's the same message Mitt Romney, who made his fortune in private equity, had for Republican voters during the presidential primary -- that he was inevitable. In The New York Times Magazine, Nicholas Confessore writes a detailed account of how hard it's been for the Obama campaign to cultivate Wall Street donors four years after they gave him $16 million, almost twice what they gave his opponent, Sen. John Mccain. But the story is also fascinating in the way it reveals how Wall Street people see themselves. It plays into the stereotype of Wall Street folks not being too particularly focused on principles.
“You call some people on Wall Street up, and they’re undecided,” one Obama bundler said. “They’re ‘waiting for clarity’ — that’s the term they use. Or they say the administration ‘hasn’t led sufficiently’ on an issue.” ...
Still, there were some factors working in Obama’s favor. The Republican primary — which forced Romney far to the right on issues like immigration and reproductive rights — had soured some Wall Streeters on his chances to win in November.
It's hard to read "clarity" as meaning something other than "poll numbers that show who's going to win." And this is the argument -- winning, not that "Obama has the best policies to save America from whatever" -- that the Obama campaign thinks is most likely to convince Wall Street people. Bundlers who host big fundraising dinners get weekly talking points for winning over reluctant givers, Confessore explains, like how to handle those who don't like the administration's policy toward Israel. "For those on Wall Street, however, the best argument boiled down to the simplest one: Obama was going to win," he writes.