News that billionaire investor Warren Buffett will work a room in Chicago this October to help raise money for President Barack Obama's reelection campaign should come as no surprise.
Obama appears to have folded Buffett into the reelection campaign the same way he folded Rahm Emanuel into the reelection bid -- slyly, but obviously.
The Emanuel mayoral campaign used the same template emails as Obama's camp to communicate with supporters, and relied on many of the same operatives -- David Axelrod and Ben LaBolt come to mind. And Emanuel never really stopped working for the White House political arm: he still headlines fundraisers for Obama and introduces him with vigor at events.
Seems like Buffett is along for the same ride, for better or worse.
Buffett started the reelection momentum when he penned an editorial in the New York Times encouraging America's leaders to stop coddling the wealthy and to impose stiffer taxes on millionaires and billionaires.
Shortly after, Obama pitched new tax legislation, lovingly slugged the "Buffett Tax."
Now Buffett will descend on Chicago, the city where Obama's campaign headquarters is located -- an incumbent presidential first -- to shake the money tree. It's unclear if Buffett is protecting his image as the "Oracle of Omaha" because Obama coopted his policy prescriptions or if his policy prescriptions are meant to help Obama in the first place.
In any case, stagecraft won't stop with Buffett in October. The culminating event, really, is the NATO and G8 summits that are planned for Chicago this coming May -- planned to show off Obama as a world leader, in his world city with his world mayor.
The stagecraft makes sense. The Emanuel quotient makes sense, too, because he reportedly has presidential ambitions of his own.
The question is, what does Buffett get out of the deal?