President Obama has written an article about Warren Buffett for Time magazine, saying that "Warren" has "invested with integrity.":
Today Warren is not just one of the world's richest men but also one of the most admired and respected. He has devoted the vast majority of his wealth to those around the world who are suffering, or sick, or in need of help. And he uses his stature as a leader to press others of great means to do the same.
Note the first-name basis.
I suppose I should be happy to see there is a successful businessman in the financial services industry that Mr. Obama isn't denouncing as a "fat cat," but this kind of endorsement of a still-very-much-in-business businessman by the president of the United States nonetheless makes me somewhat uncomfortable, the same way that I was made uncomfortable by Mr. Obama's 2009 assertion that "Aetna is a well-managed company, and I am confident that your shareholders are going to do well."
What is it with Obama and these insurance company CEOs, anyway?
I guess the alliance works for Mr. Obama, because he gets to have a data point to disprove the criticism that he dislikes all rich people. And it works for Mr. Buffett, because he burnishes his reputation and he does lots of business with lower-level government officials who take their cues from the president.