Warren Buffett’s Obama Fund-Raiser Fails To Sell Out

Warren Buffett hosted a fund-raising shindig at the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan for President Obama on Friday evening, yet according to The New York Times, the $10,000-a-head dinner saw its share of empty seats.

Of the 130 seats arranged by the Democrat campaign, only 116 (including Democratic staff members) showed up. This, suggests the Times, is a reflection on “the president’s broader struggles in attracting big-name support from those on Wall Street.”

The Wall Street elite who did attend paid $10,000 a plate, or $35,800 if they wanted one-on-one time with Mr. Buffett. The Times also reports that a few big guns of finance showed up, with hedge fund executive James Chanos amongst the most well-known.

The Obama campaign have said they consider the event a success, pointing to the fact that the dinner raised $1.5 million for the campaign and the Democratic National Committee. However, one attendee told the Times there seemed to be more Buffett fans than Obama supporters.

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Obama’s lack of popularity amongst the filthy rich is, of course, sort of understandable. He’s spoken before about “fat cat bankers,” and his proposal of a ‘Buffett Rule’ tax (whereby individuals earning more than $1 million per year would pay more in federal tax) is sure to have ruffled Wall Street feathers.

Buffett remains a staunch supporter of higher taxes for the rich, despite his increasingly lonely role as the president’s ambassador amongst the rich.

What do you think? Is the lack of 100% attendance at Buffett’s fund-raiser an ominous sign for the President? And where do you stand on the Buffett Rule tax plan?