George Soros Tells Progressive Donors Obama Might Not Be The Best Investment

Alexander 2011/01/30 22:04:09
by Sam Stein

WASHINGTON -- At a private meeting on Tuesday afternoon, George Soros, a longtime supporter of progressive causes, voiced blunt criticism of the Obama administration, going so far as to suggest that Democratic donors direct their support somewhere other than the president.

The Hungarian-American financier was speaking to a small side gathering of donors who had convened in Washington D.C. for the annual gathering of the Democracy Alliance -- a formal community of well-funded, progressive-minded individuals and activists.

According to multiple sources with knowledge of his remarks, Soros told those in attendance that he is "used to fighting losing battles but doesn't like to lose without fighting."

"We have just lost this election, we need to draw a line," he said, according to several Democratic sources. "And if this president can't do what we need, it is time to start looking somewhere else."

Michael Vachon, an adviser to Soros, did not dispute the comment, though he stressed that there was no transcript of a private gathering to check. Vachon also clarified that the longtime progressive giver was not referring to a primary challenge to the president.

"Mr. Soros fully supports the president as the leader of the Democratic Party," said Vachon. "He was not suggesting that we seek another candidate for 2012. His comments were made in a private, informal conversation that was about the need for progressives to be more forceful in promoting their agenda. He was stressing the importance of being heard by elected officials."

Dissatisfaction with the Obama administration was not limited to Soros's private gathering with donors. On Wednesday morning, Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina received several tough questions during his address to the Democracy Alliance. According to a source in the room, he was pressed multiple times as to why the administration has declined to be more combative with Republicans, both in communication and legislative strategy. Another source in the room said the exchange was not entirely contentious as people were simply expressing frustration about the fact that "we just came out of an election where the right wing and the Republicans distorted what was going on."

Requests for comment from the White House were not returned, though a Democratic operative sympathetic to the administration said that Soros's dissatisfaction with the White House was "hardly news." Sources who relayed that and other exchanges insisted on anonymity, citing the strict rules against talking to the press that come with being part of the gathering.

The tone nevertheless was said to be notably different this year than in past years. In 2008, representatives for Obama were received relatively warmly when they pitched the need to shepherd funds to the presidential campaign. Other progressive institutions were left -- somewhat bitterly -- looking for scraps. But, by and large, the donor base felt their investment had been wise, with Democrats regaining control of the White House and padding their majorities in Congress.

This year, following a drubbing in the 2010 elections and some stalling on major legislative items, the dynamics were notably different. As one attendee put it: "It was a sober atmosphere... people are looking for answers but they are not unwilling to do the work."

While Soros's comment gave some attendees the impression that he'd cheer a primary challenge to the president, the point, sources say, was different. Rather, it is time to shuffle funds into a progressive infrastructure that will take on the tasks that the president can't or won't take on.

"People are determined to help build a progressive infrastructure and make sure it is there not just in the months ahead but one that will last in the long term," said Anna Burger, the retired treasury secretary of SEIU. "Instead of being pushed over by this election it has empowered people to stand up in a bigger way."

"There was frustration," said one Democratic operative who attended the meetings. The main concern was about messaging. I think they are frustrated that the president isn't being more direct. But I did not get the sense that anyone's commitment to the progressive movement was wavering... The general consensus is that support has to move beyond being about one person and more about a movement. I don't know if we've moved beyond there."

One of those "movement" ventures is an outside-government arm to match conservatives in the 2012 elections. For several weeks, discussions have been led by Media Matters for America founder David Brock about the need to create a group that will run advertisements, conduct opposition research and perform rapid response functions. Those talks continued this past week, though disputes have begun to emerge about the most effective role for such a group. As one activist who is involved with the Democracy Alliance noted:

"There are a handful of funders committed to the idea of taking on corporate interests in politics... I think the [Supreme Court's] Citizens United decision [allowing unlimited corporate donations in campaigns] intellectually caused a shift to want to deal with corporate money. The election results split the partners in the Democracy Alliance, not down the middle, between those who say let's fight back and those who say we have to change the rules."

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/17/george-so...

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  • jubil8 BN-0 PON 2011/01/31 04:41:22
    jubil8 BN-0 PON
    Is Soros an American citizen?
  • Striker 2011/01/31 00:50:53
    Hmmmmmm Does this mean that ole' George Sorgy is not getting what he paid for?

    Po' Bayabeee!
  • Zippcodey 2011/01/31 00:16:56
    "Mr. Soros fully supports the president as the leader of the Democratic Party," said Vachon. "He was not suggesting that we seek another candidate for 2012. Yeah right, the Vatican would kick his butt and hang him out to dry.
  • cutter's falls 2011/01/31 00:16:10
  • Demonic Rat Hunter 2011/01/30 23:03:08
    Demonic Rat Hunter
    The Demonic Rats will eat their young and each other. Why are they upset ? Because the great and unmerciful Maobama has not made the USA a Communist Muzzy country yet.
    Obama, Piglosi, Red Reid and you too Soreass "WE the People of the USA will not nor do we want to be Communists."
  • MarinerFH 2011/01/30 22:44:47
  • kaZappoo MarinerFH 2011/01/31 00:40:39
    yeah even soros ,,,,,,,, he thought obama would have handed this country to the NWO by now .. the repubs gaining control " not any better than dems I minght add " but the let the air out of obama 's & soros''s agenda ......... so good george is looking for another pupet ........................?

    thought his baby obammie was the answer ....... well think again ...............
  • MarinerFH kaZappoo 2011/01/31 00:44:17
  • Wilde~MoonChild ™ 2011/01/30 22:36:12 (edited)
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    Isn't this OLD??

    You do watch the news right? you're about 3 or 4 months off
  • MarinerFH Wilde~M... 2011/01/30 22:44:10
  • Wilde~M... MarinerFH 2011/01/30 22:59:46 (edited)
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    how is it relevant... Who cares what soros thinks?
  • MarinerFH Wilde~M... 2011/01/30 23:13:07
  • Wilde~M... MarinerFH 2011/01/30 23:14:53 (edited)
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    really?? ... soros did it. So who "elected" bush.. cuz it wasn't the people
  • MarinerFH Wilde~M... 2011/01/31 00:46:09
  • Wilde~M... MarinerFH 2011/01/31 01:04:31
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    So money buys votes? Who did soros pay to vote for Obama?

    BHO is the worst president ever? <~~~ really? How?
  • MarinerFH Wilde~M... 2011/01/31 01:28:58
  • Wilde~M... MarinerFH 2011/01/31 01:58:37 (edited)
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    WHAT?? Of course I know how they work... I'm not NEW!
    I don't know how YOU work. I'm asking you so I understand YOUR thought process.. not to understand politics
  • MarinerFH Wilde~M... 2011/01/31 01:59:25
  • Wilde~M... MarinerFH 2011/01/31 02:03:37
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    So then the GOP should be good for 2012 with Karl Rove whoring himself out, right?
    Oh & Paul Ryan... if that wasn't an 900 # ad to corporation after the SOTU, i dont know what is.....
  • MarinerFH Wilde~M... 2011/01/31 04:10:52
  • Wilde~M... MarinerFH 2011/01/31 04:25:44
  • kaZappoo Wilde~M... 2011/01/31 00:46:22
    builderburg group .... big oils corps & many more ...... the people have little to do with this ...it's not the peoples votes // it's the electral college votes

    so nieve ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
  • Wilde~M... kaZappoo 2011/01/31 01:06:34 (edited)
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    actually its BILDERBURG and I'm not NAIVE.
  • kaZappoo Wilde~M... 2011/01/31 03:40:35
    the majority is nieve ,,, didnt say you ..... did ya vote for obunghole ?

    the majority is nieve ..............i just used a U in the name... OMG my bad .......is that your best debate .................... ya under 30 too .............many under 40 dont follow politics they listen to media . do" no "research on their own ............maybe obama wouldnt have gotten so many votes if they had ......................but soros is holding the pupet strings on obama .. but his agenda has been set back ....... part of world domination ...............
  • Wilde~M... kaZappoo 2011/01/31 04:24:53
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    I'm not under 30... you think some are naive while they think you're paranoid...
  • kaZappoo Wilde~M... 2011/01/31 00:43:54
    soros is part of the big picture ,,,,,,

    alluminatti / builderburg group / and many more ...... they still need this country to finish the big puzzle ................................ dominance ......

    so many in denial or nieve out there ..........................
  • Wilde~M... kaZappoo 2011/01/31 01:08:20
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    I will repeat myself - actually its BILDERBURG I'm not NAIVE.

    Dont assume becuz I ask questions don't know anything..
  • MarinerFH Wilde~M... 2011/01/31 01:30:22
  • Wilde~M... MarinerFH 2011/01/31 01:59:33
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    yea.. it says that in his book??
  • MarinerFH Wilde~M... 2011/01/31 02:01:52
  • Wilde~M... MarinerFH 2011/01/31 03:05:47
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    oh.. then i guess it doesnt
  • kaZappoo kaZappoo 2011/01/31 03:43:32
    did ya see obama interview on meet the press on 09/07/2008 when he admitted his desention towards the american flag national anthem ... the hope fully your on the side of a we the people stance "some call it the tea party "
  • CharltonJones 2011/01/30 22:19:44
    Rut Roh, the liberals are about to turn on their own. Could this be the beginning of a split in the Democratic Party/Progressive Movement?

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