At the Democratic debate on Saturday, Clinton committed a gaffe when she said that Wall Street supported her because of 9/11.
At the barbecue on Sunday, reporters surrounded Clinton’s top aides ahead of her speech and peppered them with questions about the remark. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, pointed to Clinton’s record pushing for increased financial regulatory reform during her time in Congress and on the campaign trail.
“I think she’s got a strong record on Wall Street reform. She’s put forward the strongest policies on Wall Street reform,” Podesta said.
Podesta, who was wearing a fleece jacket that bore the logo of Equilibrium Capital, a $1 billion financial and investment company, also pointed out that Clinton met with union leaders who represented Wall Street-area workers in the aftermath of 9/11.John Podesta is quite comfortable with corporate fleeces, On December 12, 2013, Eric Lipton reported at The New York Times:
The defense contractor Northrop Grumman gave money to the left-leaning Center for American Progress, founded by John D. Podesta, as the nonprofit group at times bemoaned what it called theharmful impact of major reductions in Pentagon spending.
Pacific Gas and Electric sent in a donation as Mr. Podesta championed government incentives to promote solar energy and other renewable sources that the California company buys more of than nearly any other utility.
The pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly was also a donor because of what it said was the Center for American Progress’s advocacy for patients’ rights — and just as the debate heated up in Washington over potential cuts to the Medicare program that covers Lilly’s most profitable drugs.
Mr. Podesta, named a senior adviser to President Obama, is not currently a lobbyist and therefore does not have to worry about the Obama administration’s self-imposed ban on hiring lobbyists to administration jobs. But he will nonetheless arrive at the White House after having run an organization that has taken millions of dollars in corporate donations in recent years and has its own team of lobbyists who have pushed an agenda that sometimes echoes the interests of these corporate supporters.
...FLASHBACK 2009 FROM BLOOMBERG:
But Mr. Podesta, who was paid $220,000 last year by the center and who last served as a registered lobbyist in 2006, also arrives at the White House after serving on the corporate boards of at least two companies with ties to the clean-energy industry, Equilibrium Capital of Portland, Ore., and Jouleof Bedford, Mass. The future of both companies depends in part on environmental policies set by the government and heavily promoted by the White House.
Mr. Podesta has also served on an advisory board to Gryphon Technologies, a Washington-based contractor that has done work for the Defense Department and Homeland Security, an assignment that earned him $10,000 this year. In addition, he earned $90,000 as a consultant to the HJW Foundation of West Chester, Pa, according to an aide working with him on the disclosure report he is preparing. HJW is a nonprofit group run by Hansjörg Wyss, a billionaire businessman and major contributor to the Center for American Progress.
With Obama bemoaning the prevalence of lobbyists in Washington, weekly family dinners at the Podesta households occasionally have grown awkward. Lobbying power couple Tony and Heather Podesta take turns hosting meals with Tony's brother, Obama transition boss John Podesta, and his wife, Mary, a mutual funds association lawyer. Now, sometimes, "we'll say something, and John won't respond. There'll be silence," says Heather, who changes the subject to wine or contemporary art. "Frankly, we're counting the days until the end of the transition so things can go back to normal."Tony and Heather have since split.
Still, John's temporary gig hasn't exactly been bad for business. Tony and Heather have separate firms: He built his, The Podesta Group, into one of Washington's 10 largest lobbying outfits over the last two decades, while she started her fast-growing firm, Heather Podesta+Partners, two years ago. Both say they're signing clients at an unparalleled clip.