As a confirmed skeptic of the idea that Hillary Clinton‘s ties to Mark Penn indicate she’d be a bad president for organized labor, I felt it was my duty to pick up the July 9th issue of Fortune (article not online), which screams from the cover, "Business Loves Hillary! Who Knew?"
Since the magazine is Fortune, it’s unsurprising that there’s no mention of unions at all in the piece, though there’s plenty of other interesting tidbits, including the story of Clinton’s successful efforts to woo Morgan Stanley’s Republican CEO, John Mack, into her camp. Mack and other one-time Bush-loving corporate execs endorsing Hillary, including Jeffrey Volk of Citigroup and former American Express CEO James D. Robinson III, praise her experience and free trade bona fides, of course, but also speak glowingly of her plan to cut health care costs. And touching on our tax/revenues discussion from yesterday, Fortune‘s Nina Easton writes:
…GOP foes are bemused by the trend. "A lot of hedge fund managers and others who are younger don’t remember when you had bad tax policy and how powerful the negative effects can be on the economy," says investor James Higgins, co-founder of the conservative Monday Meeting in Manhattan. … Asked about this, Clinton’s GOP business supporters say they have other priorities. Volk wants to see the federal budget balanced. Robinson wants health-care and education policies that will improve American’s competitiveness. Hillary Clinton says simply, "It’s important not to have a tax discussion separate from [deciding] what are our goals."
But rather than being ignorant of the history of taxation, I think younger corporate types really do have a different set of priorities. They may not be ready to support John Edwards, but they’re increasingly calling themselves Democrats. And as Easton points out, even CEOs have been affected by the devastating war in Iraq and the shame of Hurricane Katrina.
The article, like most, gives few clues as to how Hillary would actually govern vis a vis business. And here’s something interesting: The Fortune website discloses, at the very bottom of this sidebar page, that reporter Nina Easton’s husband is a consultant for the McCain campaign, which is portrayed in the story as CEOs’ main alternative to supporting Hillary. But I can’t find any similar disclosure in the print edition.
-cross-posted at TAPPED