Earlier this month, Vogue editor Anna Wintour hosted an Obama reelection fundraiser with actress Scarlett Johansson in the city’s meatpacking district. Models and designers hobnobbed with Obama campaign manager Jim Messina as part of the “Runway to Win” effort by fashion industry to support the president’s reelection. (“Runway to Win” comes complete with a special merch shop, featuring designs by Thakoon, Vera Wang, and Rachel Roy, which prompted mocking titters in a video from the Republican National Committee.)
Next month, Deepak Chopra, Russell Simmons and chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten host a fundraising gala organized by Reshma Saujani, the former New York Congressional candidate who now works for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Both Wintour and Saujani are so-called bundlers for the president’s 2012 reelection effort. Saujani was one of the new names released by the campaign earlier this month, raising in the $50,000 to 100,000 range. Wintour is a repeat, but she’s increased her fundraising from 2008, from the $200,000-$500,000 range to more than $500,000.
With all the talk about Wall Street’s grousing about the Obama administration, these bold-faced names attract attention. But New York’s Obama bundlers in 2012 are still dominated by fundraisers in finance, consulting, law and real estate – and they’ve raised more already than they did in the entire 2008 campaign.
Here’s the breakdown of the bundlers raising more than $200,000, according to numbers from the Center for Responsive Politics:
Nationwide, there are fewer fundraising bundlers for Obama in 2012, but they've already raised almost as much as the bundlers of 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In the 2012 campaign so far, 444 fundraising bundlers have raised $74.2 million for Obama, compared to $76.5 million from 536 people in the 2008 cycle.
But that doesn’t mean the Obama reelection campaign is relying on the same supporters to bring in big dollars. Of the 70 bundlers from New York in 2012, an analysis by WNYC shows 20 are repeats, or 29 percent. Significant turnover among fundraising bundlers is not unprecedented for an incumbent president. An analysis by the The Campaign Finance Institute found that only about a third of George W. Bush bundlers in 2000 repeated in 2004.
For Obama's 2012 campaign, twelve repeat bundlers have raised more than they did last cycle, like Wintour. Five have raised the same amount and four have raised less.
And among the dozen fundraising elite in New York who've raised more than a half a million dollars for Obama's reelection, half work in finance and investment:
NY Bundlers who raised more than $500,000 in 2012 and 2008:
Orin Kramer, hedge fund manager and founder of Boston Provident, dubbed “King of the New York Obamasaurs” by the NY Observer in 2008 his old-school fundraising prowess.
Robert Wolf, chairman of UBS Americas who the Wall Street Journal called “Obama’s Lead Blocker on Wall Street” in 2010.
NY Bundlers who raised more than $500,000 after raising less in 2008
Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, whose 2010 private DNC dinner fundraiser prompted Gawker to blurt, “Holy coming-together-of-the-gods, Batman!”
Andi and Tom Bernstein, the co-founder of Chelsea Piers Management and his wife, were among the hosts of Obama’s fundraiser last September featuring Alicia Keys at Gotham Hall. (Disclosure: Tom Bernstein also serves on WNYC’s Board of Trustees.)
Jane Hartley, co-founder of the political advisory group Observatory Group, who is set to host a private fundraiser in March for Obama with her husband Ralph Schlosstein, the chief executive of Evercore Partners. Bloomberg reported that Obama campaign manager Jim Messina assured the two last week that “the president won’t demonize Wall Street” in his reelection campaign.
Blair Effron, an investment banker at Centerview Partners, who has worked to build up support on Wall Street for the president’s reelection. “The first goal was to get recognition that the administration has led the economy from an unimaginably difficult place to where we are today,” he told The New York Times in June. “Now the second goal is to turn that into support.”
Brian Mathis, a classmate of Obama’s at Harvard Law and partner at Provident Group, the same firm as other top Obama bundler Orin Kramer. New York described him as part of Obama’s “embryonic New York finance committee” before his primary contest against then-NY Senator Hillary Clinton.
Deven Parekh, venture capitalist and Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners, who served as a national co-chair on the Obama campaign’s Asian American Finance Committee in 2008.
New Bundlers raising more than $500,000 in 2012
Harvey Weinstein, film executive and head of Weinstein Company, was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary and wrote his first check to Obama in 2011.
Kawanna Brown, the Chief Operating Officer of Magic Johnson Enterprises, the business development group run by the former basketball star. She was also a Hillary Clinton donor during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary and didn’t write a check for Obama in the 2008 cycle. Most federal election filings list a Los Angeles address, but Obama’s list of bundlers identify her as a New Yorker.
Charles Myers, head of global investment firm Evercore Partners, where fellow big bundler Jane Hartley’s husband is also a partner. He ranked #12 in the New York Observer’s list of “New Power Gays” in 2011, which mentioned the top fundraiser may have political aspirations of his own.
Jack Rosen, real estate developer and chairman of the American Jewish Congress, hosted a private fundraiser at his home during a fundraising swing through the city last December. Rosen donated to both Hillary Clinton and Obama in 2008 (though most of his Clinton contributions were later refunded).
Sally Susman, Pfizer’s Vice President of External Affairs and formerly of Estee Lauder, is said to have been the inspiration for a character on Cashmere Mafia, a short-lived ABC series. She contributed to both Hillary Clinton and Obama in 2008.