Tonight, John Boehner is in New York to convince to Wall Streeters that the house will be able to increase the debt ceiling and maintain its commitment to rein in spending at the same time.
Eric Cantor is also visiting New York this week. He’ll meet with NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer and is ringing the opening bell tomorrow morning.
After Obama’s approval ratings spiked in the wake of Bin Laden death, Republicans are going to a place where they know they have friends — Wall Street.
And even though the President is in a good place with the general electorate, financiers have been turned off in recent months by the Dems — hedge funders in particular, once loyal to Democrats, have done a 180 and are lobbying hard for a Republican win next year.
Boehner’s speaking at the Economic Club of New York in Midtown, and will “reiterate… that reforming Medicare should be part of negotiations,” according to Politico.
The GOP leader will explain to financial heavyweights that the program is heading down an “unsustainable path if changes are not made.”
Boehner has to walk a very fine line in his remarks tonight.
With a class of debt-averse Republican freshmen threatening to vote against raising the borrowing limit, Boehner must reassure the financial sector that Congress won’t rattle markets and send the fragile economy into a tailspin.
At the same time, Boehner must not appear to sell out members of his conference, many of whom won election running against raising the debt limit and want changes to entitlement programs.
After he delivers his speech, Boehner will be questioned by Blackstone founder Pete Peterson and Jane Hartley, the CEO of political and economic consultancy firm, the Observatory Group.
While the foundation funded by billionaire Peterson has publicly congratulated the GOP on its 2012 budget, Hartley is a regular Democratic donor.
But basically, as long as Boehner convinces Wall Street that the debt ceiling will be raised, he’ll win, according to the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, Mark Zandi.
That same idea was highlighted by the head of BarCap’s fixed income unit, Ajay Rajadhyaksha.
But Zandi thinks there’s something else that’s equally as important: how Boehner presents himself.
He told Bloomberg: “More important than the content of Boehner’s message is “how he says it and his demeanor and his level of confidence,” Zandi said. It’s “very, very important” that Boehner “convinces people that policy makers really understand what the stakes are.”