Joe Biden's October 14 phone call with Warren Buffett and Biden's October 14 fundraiser with Park Avenue resident Jane Hartley, Blair Effron of Centerview Partners, Deven Parekh of Insight Partners, and Roger Altman of Evercore were covered here earlier.
In addition, on October 15, Kamala Harris had a fundraiser with Tom Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund manager turned climate-change-activist and unsuccessful presidential candidate. A host of that event was Carol Sutton Lewis, whose husband, William M. Lewis Jr., is co-chairman of investment banking at Lazard.
On October 16, Harris had another fundraiser, hosted by Martha Karsh. Karsh's husband, Bruce Karsh, is the billionaire co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, an investment firm. Martha Karsh, who describes herself variously as "not employed," "retired," "philanthropist," and "self-employed" in Federal Election Commission records, has donated about $350,000 over the past two years to pro-Biden and anti-Trump causes, the FEC records show.
Biden's remarks as prepared for delivery in Detroit, Michigan October 16 and distributed by his campaign had him saying, "all this President cares about from his Park Avenue perspective is the stock market." Biden's remarks for Southfield, Michigan, October 16, as distributed by his campaign, had him saying that Trump "can only see the world from his Park Avenue perspective. And all he can see from Park Avenue is Wall Street. I see the world from where I grew up — in Scranton."
Ms. Lewis lives not on Park Avenue but, according to FEC records, on Central Park West, which I guess Biden finds less distasteful? The Karshes recently bought a $68 million compound in Holmby Hills, Calif. As one account put it, they have:
mansions in lots of fancy-schmancy neighborhoods. They have a massive pad on Hawaii's Big Island. They own a tennis court estate up in Montecito (CA). In 2014, they purchased a $33 million spread in Brentwood (CA) that has interiors done up by Obama's White House decorator Michael S. Smith. They still own their longtime family home, a rambling old mansion up in the mountainous Beverly Hills Post Office area of LA. And just a month or so ago, they paid approximately $25 million for the NYC townhouse of legally-embattled former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Scranton, it isn't.
Anyway, the point here is not to embarrass Biden's donors or Harris's. I am happy that they have prospered. It's good that Biden and Harris have relationships with some rich people. The two Democrats, if elected, will be tempted to pursue policies that will make it more difficult for anyone other than subsidy-dependent alternative-energy investors to accumulate wealth. Someone needs to be able to talk some sense into them.
It would be a reassuring sign, though, if these donors could prevail on Biden and Harris right now to cut out the Park Avenue-bashing and Wall-Street bashing. The danger is that, if the Democratic candidates don't stop it now, both the markets and the rest of the political universe will expect Biden and Harris to follow through post-election.