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Wall Street gets it. And Wall Street Democrats, in particular get it.
Hillary Clinton has been postponing fundraisers with financial executives ahead of the New Hampshire primary. But don't expect folks on Wall Street to be offended that Clinton is distancing herself from them. In fact, they see it as smart politics and they understand that Wall Street banks are deeply unpopular, particularly with the Democratic primary base voters, according to a survey of several prominent Wall Street Democrats by CNBC.
"Everybody knows how the world works," said one Democrat working at a Wall Street bank. "If you take offense to that, you're really unsophisticated."
For Hillary supporters on Wall Street, the focus is very much on keeping Bernie Sanders — who they see as much, much, worse for Wall Street — away from the Democratic nomination for president. "Democrats like me say: 'Do what you need to do to get in the seat,' " said the Wall Street Democrat.
Politico columnist and CNBC contributor Ben White reported Thursday that Hillary Clinton had postponed her second fundraiser with financial services executives amid criticism from Sanders that she has been too close to Wall Street. Citing sources close to the matter, Politico reported that Clinton will no longer attend an event in Boston scheduled for Friday to be hosted by Jonathan Lavine of Sankaty Advisors. That comes after Clinton postponed a New York event with executives from BlackRock.
"She has raised money from Wall Street, and that's not going to change. She will continue to raise money on Wall Street, and that's not going to change," said a second Clinton supporter at a Wall Street firm. "People are big boys and girls and we understand that this is the campaign season — not to suggest that they are happy to hear the rhetorical broadsides from the candidates."
This Democrat is slightly indignant about the Sanders attacks on Clinton. "Are we kidding? Barack Obama was like the Hoover machine of Wall Street money in 2008 and 2012, " he said. "Are we suggesting that Barack Obama is somehow in the pocket of Wall Street? I don't think so."
A third Wall Street Democrat said he and his fellow Clinton supporters are resigned to the idea of more rhetorical Wall Street bashing from Democrats — and Republicans — during the primary season. "We're the symbol. We're going to keep getting it. I don't think it's a huge surprise that this stuff still resonates."
The Clinton campaign on Thursday reasserted the candidate's critical stance on Wall Street. "Progressives like Paul Krugman and Barney Frank agree that Hillary Clinton has the toughest Wall Street reform plan of any candidate," said Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin. "She believes that the measure of our success must be defined by how much incomes rise for hard-working families, not just CEOs and money managers. The hundreds of thousands of people who have supported Hillary's campaign know that's what she's fighting for."