In many ways, I'm a huge hypocrite. It's a terrible character flaw of mine, but one I've learned to live with. And I make every effort to call myself on it when I'm at my worst. I also like to think that I'd do anything for money - a real OG. But I know deep down that there are things too distasteful to me to do for any price. This is also probably a character flaw of mine, but one I've mostly learned to live with.
For example: I'm not above screwing a competitor to achieve my own ends, though I'm usually the first to cry foul when it's done to me. And I'd like to think that I could go to that competitor after I screwed him and convince him to pay me so I don't tell any of my friends how to screw him as well, but I probably couldn't do it with a straight face.
Lucky for PR firm McClean/Clark, Anita Dunn doesn't share my inhibitions (or any obvious sense of decency). Who is Anita Dunn? For starters, she's the former White House communications director under President Obama, and she's now a Managing Director at SKDKnicerbocker - a Democratic consulting firm. She's also a world class Wall Street hater.
As WH communications director, Dunn framed many of the administrations arguments against Wall Street and in favor of increased regulation. She was particularly rough on the she's now selling her services to the very industry she publicly vilified to make it all go away., scapegoating it above most other sectors of finance. So you can imagine my surprise when I learned that
As White House communications director, Dunn helped President Obama criticize hedge funds as a key factor of the financial collapse--and she has continued that criticism, at least in public, ever since.
An industry outsider who was pitched on Dunn's proposal told the Washington Free Beacon that he was surprised to see the former Obama official involved in the effort. "First we see Dunn attack us on television," he said, "and then she tells us to hire her to head off the exact attacks that she herself is hurling at us. The entire thing begins to stink like a protection racket."
That's actually an excellent choice of words. In a protection racket scheme, you're buying "protection" from the misdeeds of the people who are selling you the protection. That's pretty much exactly what's on offer here. If thewill hire Dunn and her cronies, they'll protect the industry from their old pals in Washington. Or at least they'll give it the old "college try" and bank a ton of fees.
So now Dunn is going to bat for the very industry she did her dead level best to gut while she was a Washington insider. I guess I shouldn't be surprised (though I'll be surprised if any of the funds take her up on the offer).
I'd love to be a shrink in DC. Those guys have to treat the most off-the-wall personality disorders in the world. Imagine what it must take mentally to wage war on your sworn enemy and then switch teams midstream for money. I know I couldn't do it.
I'll leave you with one of Anita's greatest hits. Should be popular in the hedge fund community over the coming weeks. Sure, let's hire the chick whose hero is Mao Tse Tung.