Ben White, who covers banking and bank lobbying for Politico, has also taken the lead on a lot of Politico's stories about how Jeb Bush, Wall Street's favorite presidential candidate, is seeking to avoid the impression that he's Wall Street's favorite presidential candidate. The stories tend to be well-reported, since White is very well-informed about what bank lobbyists want, but there is a certain paradoxical nature to them that perhaps reached a peak with this morning's edition (emphasis added):
Democrats moved very early in the 2012 cycle to portray Romney as a creature of Wall Street whose proposal for a 20 percent reduction in individual tax rates would benefit many of his wealthy friends. Democrats are already attempting to do the same with Bush and conservative policy thinkers and strategists say they hope the Bush team moves swiftly to counter the attacks.
"Bush and any other Republican running needs to do a better job not just in the primary but in the general election of talking about economic issues in a very different way than Republicans have in the past," said Tony Fratto, a consultant and former George W. Bush White House official who is supportive of Jeb Bush. "If you go to Americans and ask them what their greatest fears are they won't say it's that their taxes are too high. They will talk about things like technology removing the need for hands-on workers and their children not receiving the skills and education to allow them to compete in a global economy."
Here's the thing about Tony Fratto — he's not just "a consultant," he's the point person at Hamilton Place Strategies for matters concerning their clients in the financial services industry. He's the guy you turn to, as a journalist, if you want to hear a smart defense of the big banks' views on everything from the Export-Import Bank to Senator Sherrod Brown to breaking up the banks and beyond.
Which is to say that Bush's effort to counter the attack that he is a creature of Wall Street is being led by creatures of Wall Street.