The current field of Democrats running--or thought to be running--for the White House in 2008 might be shaking Wall Street to its roots. The 'fear' is based on getting a president that's unfriendly to the Street's business friendly philosophy. Among the early frontrunners is a one time Wal-Mart board member (Hillary Clinton), an ex-trial lawyer (John Edwards) and a relatively unknown (Barack Obama). So which of these potential commanders-in-chief scares Wall Street and investors the most?
Brian Gardner is a Washington research analyst at Keefe, Bruyette and Woods. Morris Reid is managing director at Westin Rinehart. Both appeared on "Squawk Box."
Gardner says that of the big three mentioned above--Hillary Clinton would be more friendly to Wall Street. He says the "Two America's" (one rich, one poor) theme from John Edwards doesn't go over on the Street and is in fact "getting old" and doesn't play well with voters.
Reid agrees that Hillary would be best--but says having a Democrat in the White House doesn't mean bad news for business. He says Democrats might to a better job of promoting rebuilding America's infrastructure--and that's good for business. Reid says Democrats know how to move the markets--but he says they need to do a better job of getting that message out. Reid says instead of scarring business--Democrats should work with business.
As for Obama--Reid says the senator from Illinois would be pretty much middle of the road when it comes to business. He countered Gardner [Obama is attacking business--like Wal-Mart's wages and health care benefits] a bit by saying Obama is trying to get the nomination right now and would more than likely return to the center if he was elected to the White House.
One other Democrat that Gardner thinks would be business friendly is Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico. Richardson hasn't declared his candidacy--but is said to be thinking about it.
Interesting note: in terms of average annual return for the S&P 500 during the last ten presidential tenures -Bill Clinton comes in first at +17.40%, Gerald Ford at +17%, Harry Truman at +15.60%, Dwight Eisenhower at +14.90% and Ronald Reagan at +14.40%. Current President George W. Bush comes in last at +.056% (he still has a little less than two years in office).
FYI-for the first time since 1952-the race for the White House will have not a sitting president or vice president running for office in 2008.