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Tim Pawlenty: the new face of the GOP-Wall Street alliance

September 21, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

At first glance, it’s an odd decision: The Financial Services Roundtable, one of Wall Street’s most prominent lobbying groups in Washington, has chosen former GOP governor Tim Pawlenty as its new chief at a time when President Obama’s chances of reelection seem to be rising, and Democrats are gaining an edge in key Senate races.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Tuesday, June 28, 2011. (Seth Wenig — Associated Press)

The downsides seem clearer than the upsides. If Romney wins, then Pawlenty, a close Romney friend who co-chaired the Republican candidate’s presidential campaign and was seriously considered for the veep slot, will have all the access he could want. But if Obama is reelected, Pawlenty isn’t likely to be the most appealing messenger to the Democrats’ administration.

But to put it in market lingo, the Financial Service Roundtable, observers say, is pricing that in. The past four years have made it clear that Democrats aren’t likely to sympathize with the Financial Services Roundtable, regardless of what happens on Election Day. But Congressional Republicans might.

By bringing on Pawlenty, who’s stepping down as co-chair of the Romney campaign, the Roundtable is fortifying its relationship with the current Republican establishment and making it clear that its priority moving forward will be on legislative action in Congress, according to Hill aides and outside analysts. There’s little expectation that Dodd-Frank will be completely repealed, even if Mitt Romney were elected. Instead, the hope is that Congressional Republicans will be able to push through more incremental reforms to alter and roll-back parts of the Wall Street reform law. “We’re trying to reform the reform,” the Roundtable’s retiring head, Steve Barlett, told The New York Times in 2011.

via Tim Pawlenty: the new face of the GOP-Wall Street alliance.

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