Hedge funds jumped on the Barack Obama bandwagon in the second quarter, donating $340,634 to the senator from Ohio, who is vying for the Democratic nomination for President in 2008. The biggest recipient of hedge fund cash in the second quarter, Obama trailed only Senate Finance Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd from Connecticut in the amount raised from hedge funds as of July 1. Hillary Clinton, a longtime hedge fund favorite and frontrunner in the race, fell to third place overall, and fourth during the second quarter, according to research compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Why the fascination with Obama? In a word, opportunity. Because Obama is a new face, there's more of a chance for donors to exert influence. "Hillary is all sewn up," says one hedge fund manager. Clinton has long been close to such hedge fund luminaries as Richard Perry, Marc Lasry and David Shaw.