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Top Romney Financial Backer Cuts across Media Stereotypes

The WSJ has profiled a hedge fund manager and high-level donor to the Romney/Ryan campaign whose political views break significantly with Republican Party orthodoxy:

This behind-the-scenes influence has prompted chatter in GOP circles that [Paul] Singer, already an informal policy adviser to the Romney campaign, might be offered a job in a potential Republican administration. Mr. Singer, 68 years old, says he isn’t interested in a Romney administration position, but has offered ideas in areas including gay marriage—he supports it, at odds with the ticket—foreign policy and fiscal affairs. He also shares his quarterly investor letter, which routinely runs more dozens of pages, with the campaign.

American politics can be more complicated than media stereotypes would lead us to think. Paul Singer is a major contributor to Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the campaign for gay marriage. His views on financial regulation are also complex. He doesn’t like Dodd-Frank, partly because he has reservations about excessive regulation but also because he doesn’t think the law goes far enough in some respects to prevent another crash.

Singer is very conservative on many issues, but the range of his views should remind us that in spite of all the noise and polarization American politics can still surprise us.

Many conservatives have liberal streaks, and many liberals also have conservative streaks. It’s a good thing we aren’t a nation of purists; not only do these cross currents help us find compromise from time to time, but our own mixed views can help us understand where others are coming from.

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  • Luke Lea

    David Cay Johnston, former financial correspondent of NYT, has argued that the 10,000 wealthiest families in America bankroll both political parties and set the political agenda. Ten thousand may sound like a lot but it only averages a couple of a hundred per state. There are fifteen or twenty right here in Chattanooga, and they are all known by name.

    What does WRM think, and know, about such a donor class?

  • ken Handler

    Bank shareholders and lenders must NOT be protected from financial failures.
    War across borders is obsolete. Back to protection of water bourn commerce.
    Government should observe the rule of providing FCS “food clothing and shelter” to everyone within it’s borders.
    The 10th amendment is obsolete.

  • Fred Unger

    Walter –

    This isn’t complex if you add more possibilities than just conservative vs liberal. Fiscally prudent and socially tolerant – that’s Libertarian – the future of American politics.

  • Lorenz Gude

    I often think of myself as a ‘recovering liberal’ but I notice a funny thing. Growing up in the 50s I was very pro civil liberties and found a lot of support for that in the Democratic party and the ACLU. Boy they’ve changed! These days my persistent liberal streak looks more and more like a libertarian streak. Glenn Reynolds seems like a progressive thinker to me and the progressives – the left of the Democratic party – seem to me to have become recidivist lefties.

  • cacrucil

    A libertarian wall street billionaire. How shocking.

  • thibaud

    The top financial backer of Romney is not Singer but a corrupt casino mogul who’s under investigation by the FBI and the Las Vegas District Attorney and facing lawsuits from his ex-CEO who blew the whistle on the man’s crimes in China.

    This would be the same man who aims to spend $100 million of his ill-gotten lucre to get the electoral outcome he desires. The same one whose ring was hastily kissed by Paul Ryan immediately after Romney selected him, in a private meeting in Vegas.

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