Tags: Chris Christie | Christie Bridge Controversy | Hillary Clinton | Jeb Bush | Paul Ryan | Rand Paul | Ted Cruz

Wall Street: Hillary Clinton Would Be Acceptable Choice

Image: Wall Street: Hillary Clinton Would Be Acceptable Choice

By Sandy Fitzgerald   |   Monday, 28 Apr 2014 09:56 AM

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be an acceptable consolation candidate for many people on Wall Street if former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush decides not to seek the presidency, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't recover politically from the bridge-gate scandal, insiders are saying.

Many key GOP donors are saying they won't be deciding who to back until after this year's midterm elections, when many of the top potential candidates have said they will announce their presidential intentions, Politico reports.

But interviews with donors and executives revealed they would choose Clinton over several often-mentioned potential Republican candidates, such as Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas, or Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Those lawmakers, along with Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio, are either too unknown or untrusted, many of those interviewed said, and if Bush doesn't run, the list of candidates they feel suitable is short.

Clinton, meanwhile, may be a Democrat, but she also has moderate views on taxes and financial registration that the insiders feel they can work with.

"If it turns out to be Jeb versus Hillary, we would love that, and either outcome would be fine," a top attorney, whose name was not released, told Politico. "We could live with either one. Jeb versus Joe Biden would also be fine. It's Rand Paul or Ted Cruz versus someone like Elizabeth Warren that would be everybody's worst nightmare."

Many GOP fundraisers and donors aren't saying publicly that they prefer Clinton over Republican candidates, or suggesting that they would openly support her.

But privately, a GOP insider told Politico that many on Wall Street feel that contests between either Bush and Clinton or Christie and Clinton would be "very good choices."

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But Christie's political popularity is still troubled, two recent polls show.

Although the Republican governor has been cleared by his own investigation team of any wrongdoing in the bridge-gate scandal, an online survey by the editorial board of the state's largest newspaper, The Star-Ledger, shows that readers — by an overwhelming majority — do not believe he's off the hook.

With nobody announcing their campaigns publicly yet, though, there is still plenty of time for other candidates to emerge. Rubio, for example, impressed many on Wall Street when he visited the city.

In addition, Walker and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will visit New York on May 13, when Walker will appear at a Republican fundraiser and Ryan heads for a re-election event hosted by hedge-fund magnates Cliff Asness and Paul Singer and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson.

But many on Wall Street said they find Clinton approachable, and likely won't view her as an opponent.

"They wouldn't align with her on every policy, but they won't view her as hostile to the sector," said one executive.

Many are familiar with Clinton because she was New York's senator for eight years and considered the financial district a key part of her office.

She also had advisers and friends from Wall Street, who still contribute to the Clinton Foundation, and she still gives talks to influential companies like Goldman Sachs.

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