Why do the Democrats have so many rich leaders?

The Obamas have between 2 and 7 million dollars. The Clintons have several times that amount. Al Gore has about 200 million dollars. The 2004 Presidential ticket was an embarrassment of riches. John Kerry measures his wealth in hundreds of millions, John Edwards in tens of millions. I believe that the Kennedy family has a fair amount of money. Nancy Pelosi ain’t poor either. Neither is Harry Reid.

Moving beyond the list of actual politicians, Warren Buffet, who served as one of Obama’s economic advisers, is one of the richest human beings in history. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has a fair amount of money; indeed, I rather doubt that any of the CEOs on the list are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Michael Bloomberg, who ran for mayor of NYC as a nominal independent but is now throwing his money behind liberal Democratic candidates, is a billionaire.

And still the list of wealthy Democrats rolls on. Elizabeth Warren is famous for being confused about her racial background; she seems to be equally ignorant of her economic background. Today she has an 8-figure net worth, much of it paid by big corporations. She owns a rather expensive house in New England and another in DC and enjoys all the perks of a millionaire’s lifestyle.

I don’t see Democrats wanting to talk about this very often. They could, of course, point out that Republican leaders are generally well off too. This would be correct, as Mitt Romney with his private car elevator, or John McCain with more houses than he can remember, would tell us. But the Democratic are, or at least claim to be, much more focused on issues of reducing income inequality and getting big money out of the political process. When we hear attacks on “the one percent” and proud allegiance with the interests of “the 99 percent”, it tends to come from the Democratic side of the aisle. Moreover, Democrats also claim to value “equality” and “opportunity” for everyone. Given all that, it sure seems a little bit strange to see the party leadership consisting of so many zillionaires and so few of the poor and middle class.

Can you point out a few “poor and middle class” politicians, of any stripe?

Because America’s pretty much a plutocracy.

They do, at least more than the Republicans do. The Republicans are outright hostile to the poor and middle class, especially the poor. They regard the poor as parasites and vermin.

Most Republicans, I think, are pretty poor. The pauper Romney is their role model, and that’s why Republicans are so closely identified with causes and programs to help the poor, and are always trying to tax the rich. It’s also why the Republican appointees on the Supreme Court are so strongly opposed to the influence of money in politics. :stuck_out_tongue:

We generally have a meritocratic political system. The people who are considered as possible Presidential candidates should be capable people. And as capable people they should be financially successful.

As for the implied snideness of the OP, nobody was claiming that Romney’s problem was just that he was rich. The problem that people had with him is that he only seemed to be concerned about rich people.

Another issue the OP ignores is when the people he mentioned gained their wealth. Barack Obama was not born rich. Neither were Bill or Hillary Clinton. Nor were John Kerry or John Edwards or Harry Reid or Elizabeth Warren. They’re all people who became wealthy in their own lifetime. (I’ll grant you Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, and the Kennedys.)

Sure. The Democrats are the party of big business. The Republicans though are the party of the Chamber of Commerce. One follows enlightened self interest, the other is more parochial. Eric Schmidt’s Google once held a fundraiser for Inhofe of Oklahoma. But they have a fact-based approach towards their business and public policy, so they accept the scientific consensus on global warming, even if Inhofe takes a crackpot perspective. (Inhofe not only attacks the idea of anthropogenic global warming, he believes that it is an actual hoax perpetrated by the scientific establishment.)

It just goes to show that democrats are not against capitalism or financial success, as ćonservatives often claim. There was no greater champion of the poor than FDR and yet he was born rich and remained that way his entire life.

Just noting this nugget o’ bullshit.

Anyhoo, having rich people in leadership roles isn’t as bad as having rich people in leadership rules who try to cultivate a phony image of “yeah, I’m the kinda guy you could have a beer with, really, that’s 100% possible.”
By the way, I don’t care how rich a Canadian politician is, though I’m somewhat impressed by the “Shawinigan handshake” incident.

Few, especially in the USA right now. The rich people are in power, regardless of which of the two major parties happens to hold the Presidency and a majority in Congress at the given moment. The only true way to reduce the influence of the super-wealthy and support the interests of the poorest 99% would be to reduce the influence of government over our lives.

I don’t follow your point here. Why can’t rich Democrats be the champions of narrowing the income gap? Do you think to avoid charges of hypocrisy, they must personally give all they own to the poor to right that wrong? And I am certainly not buying your claim you find it “strange” there are few po’ folk getting elected as Democrats. Where are all the poor Republicans in Congress? Or are they just immune from criticism because they never claimed to be anything other than assholes toward the 99%?

This OP is really ridiculous. There’s nothing in the Democratic platform which precludes people from being wealthy or even very wealthy. There are policies which the Democrats want to implement, those have to be paid for by taxes, and the Democrats want the rich to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes then the poor do.

And supporting polices designed to help the “99%” doesn’t preclude people from being wealthy either. It’s completely possible to provide government services and safety nets and still have wealthy people.

Now as to campaign finance, this is an issue of trying to bring about some level of access to government to everybody and reduce special interest capture of the government. Again, nothing in that precludes people from being wealthy.

What the OP is attempting to do, which is something that dishonest Republicans attempt to do all the time, is to pretend that Democratic policies are inherently hostile to wealth. They aren’t. The OP also wants to use his own definitions of “equality” and “opportunity” and then pretend that his definitions make Democratic policies somehow anti-wealth.

Well, that’s wrong. Government is pretty much the only power the poor have. They may not be in the leadership but they have a huge say in who’s in the leadership. A lot bigger say than in what some corporation chooses for their leadership.

  1. Actually, the absolute reverse is true. Funny.

  2. Fair campaign finance laws with not just teeth but teams of rabid enforcer weasels would go a long way to achieve that goal.

Eh? Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly claimed to be partially descended from Cherokee Indians. In response to requests from representatives of the Cherokees that she either justify or recant this statement, she’s offered nothing. She listed herself as a racial minority in the directory of the Association of American Law Schools for many years, and the universities that employed her cited her as proof that they were improving the diversity of their faculty. Read all about it here:

  1. Success is a talent.
  2. Political beliefs only interfere with ones success if you’re an idiot.
  3. If you’re an idiot, success isn’t one of your talents.

Ergo, successful politicians - i.e. ones you’ve heard of - are more likely to be wealthy and none of them are idiots.

Don’t you know? When rich Republicans advocate policies designed to line their own pockets, this means that they are noble and true. When rich Democrats advocate policies which may mean they pay more in taxes, that means they are HYPOCRITES!!! Because if you advocate policies you don’t personally benefit from, something or something and woo!

Phew. I think we can all go home happy now.

And yet, somehow Warren Buffet still says that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

I have never attempted to do any such thing. My position is the precise opposite of the one you’re trying to pin on me. I believe that Democratic policies are inherently hostile to working-class people generally, and are inherently beneficial to the wealthy. That’s why, with the Democrats having held the White House for the past six years, the Senate for the past eight years, and the House of Representatives for four of the past eight years, the super-wealthy and major corporations have taking home a growing share of the nation’s wealth during that time. The rest of us are getting the shaft from Democratic policies.

In all my years of observing the American political process, I can’t recall seeing much evidence of this huge power wielded by poor people.

Are you quite sure that no well-known politician is an idiot?


Omfg are you set to play Vegas with your comedy act?

ETA: or did you just wake up delusional today?