Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Marco Rubio's "first dates" with Wall Street


Ben White and Maggie Haberman report this morning on Marco Rubio's early bird gets the bundler push, which one source likened to a first date -- well, many first dates (emphasis added).

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is moving swiftly behind the scenes to lock down some of Wall Street’s biggest donors ahead of the 2016 presidential race.

In recent weeks, the rising GOP star and possible 2016 hopeful has quietly met with some of the most powerful GOP backers in the world of high finance. The roster includes Blackstone Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman, KKR CEO Henry Kravis and senior executives at Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital, among others.

Rubio has gotten backing from big Wall Street titans before, notably hedge fund manager and billionaire Paul Singer. But the fresh round of private meetings with top names has Wall Street buzzing about Rubio’s future plans.

“It was a first date. And he’s doing lot of them,” said a person familiar with Rubio’s meeting with Schwarzman, who heads one of the biggest private equity firms on Wall Street. The person, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private, said Schwarzman was “favorably impressed” with Rubio but remains uncommitted for 2016. “Rubio has a very strong sense of himself and positioned himself very early on immigration reform, which Republicans desperately need,” this person said.

Rubio’s early trips to Manhattan are only logical, campaign finance experts say. And they are likely to continue over the next three years.

Here's a question -- will the GOP candidates make their somewhat shame-laden pilgrimages to Trump Tower at some point within the next four years?

I'd guess no, which means this field is already off to a better start.