Hedge Fund CEO’s Support of Rubio Raises Questions

Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, wipes his brow as he speaks during a discussion on the American family and cultural values." at Catholic University on July 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

From Crain’s Chicago Business: Ken Griffin signs up with Marco Rubio

ELDER PATRIOT – Normally a headline like this one wouldn’t raise many eyebrows.  After all Ken Griffin is the CEO of Citadel and his endorsement and the financial support that will follow this decision has become an everyday part of American politics.  We have contented ourselves in the belief that these A-list donors are so patriotic that they willingly give their money to make America better.

According to Crain’s, “Griffin is as A-list as it gets in GOP national politics at the moment.” Except that Griffin was also the single largest contributor to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat.

Griffin released this statement last evening:

“I am very excited to support Sen. Marco Rubio in his effort to become the 45th president of the United States. I have known Sen. Rubio for a number of years and he is an inspiring, courageous and bold leader who embodies the American dream of freedom and equal opportunity for all. Sen. Rubio is uniquely qualified to lead our nation with conviction and courage to tackle the pressing issues of our time, whether it’s strengthening our military, ensuring the safety of our people, or lifting the weight of government from our shoulders in everything from free enterprise to health care. He possesses the vision, talent and determination to renew the American spirit for generations to come.”

Griffin couldn’t say the same things about Rahm Emanuel who played a major role as Obama’s primary strategist before deciding on his mayoral run, so what is his game?

Griffin runs a hedge fund and carries one of the biggest wallets in politics.  Hedge funds are often extra-risky, extra-volatile investment vehicles that demand huge up-front investments, sometimes in the millions.  Because of the inherent risk the returns on investments like these are enormous.  Of course, investing in this manner is always more successful when you have influence over the legislation and executive actions that govern the markets in which you invest.  This is no different than playing poker with marked cards.

So, what does Griffin’s support tell us, if anything?  Having previously given over eleven million dollars to help get Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner elected we should expect that to be the baseline for the financial help he plans on giving Mr. Rubio. 

Why?  How can a man of political conscience support both Rahm Emanuel and Marco Rubio?  There is clearly no ideological similarity between Rubio and Emanuel on the size and scope of government, at least in the way they have positioned themselves for political reasons

Clearly, Marco Rubio promised him “access” that, in political circles, translates into influence.  Mr. Griffin just bought himself the dealer with the marked deck.