Democrats are shocked to see President Obama treat Wall Street's top banks with respect and kindness. In order to predict his kindness (Obama's justice department has failed to prosecute the crimes that helped lead to the financial crisis of 2008) towards the top financial institutions it didn't take a crystal ball, all it took was a list of his top donors which included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citigroup. Applying this same logic to the GOP primary election Romney is the candidate that will likely be buddy-buddy with Wall Street. Mitt Romney's top ten is made up of Goldman Sachs, followed by Credit Suisse (Switzerland), Morgan Stanley, Barclays (UK), Bank of America and JP Morgan. In contrast Romney's co-frontrunner in Iowa, Ron Paul, has a top three donor list made up of the US Army, US Navy and US Airforce.
Obviously Goldman Sachs and company donate heavily to Romney not because they like his stance on the social issues but because he will continue the rigged game of crony capitalism. The revolving door from Wall Street (particularly from Goldman Sachs) to the White House will remain open and Goldman and company will maintain not only their rigged game but their influence.
The active duty military that make up Ron Paul's top donor list are attempting to send a signal to the American people that Ron Paul's foreign policy is the right choice.
So yes Romney and Paul are in a race to get the nomination from the same party but they could not be more polar opposites when it comes to their intentions for the Presidency.
Perhaps this is why Romney has not yet attacked Ron Paul directly. Attacking Ron Paul opens Romney up to a direct debate with Ron Paul on the issues. Such a debate would draw a clear distinction between Romney and Paul on the issues that a majority of the electorate, particularly the issue of support for TARP and future bank bailouts.
In October Milwaukee Story published this article that broke down Romney's pledge to continue US interventionist/first-strike foreign policy. That foreign policy white paper was an additional signal to Wall Street that Romney was a safe bet as an establishment candidate and could be trusted to pull from Washington and Wall Street establishments to fill his cabinet posts.
It is critical to understand that even though Goldman Sachs tops Romney's donor list does not mean they are lining up all of their resources behind Romney alone. Goldman has also donated heavily to Obama's reelection campaign. And while this may signal a subtle divide in the Goldman ranks, a more likely scenario is that Goldman is simply hedging their bets and lending their Wall Street credibility to each candidate that they believe will allow the crony capitalism necessary for them to continue their winning ways.
Note: Just to be clear the donations to Romney and Ron Paul represented in this article are from individuals employed by the organizations mentioned and not the US Army or Goldman Sachs directly. So soldiers and investment bankers, not Pentagon budgets and Goldman accounts.
About the Author: Andy is a graduate student who lives in Milwaukee.