Who does Barack Obama listen to?
Not Republican politicians. Evidently weeks go by between his conversations with Speaker John Boehner, who determines what legislation comes to the House floor.
Not Democratic politicians. We have it on good authority that he seldom talks to Democratic members of Congress. Lyndon Johnson used to be on the phone constantly, cajoling and inveigling but also on the alert for shifts in opinion.
Speaker Tip O’Neill walked around the Capitol, asking member after member, “What do you hear?” In contrast, Obama, a former adviser told Vanity Fair’s Todd Purdum, “is a total introvert. He doesn’t need people.”
But there is one group of people Obama has to listen to: the people who give him large sums of money. He recently attended his 150th fundraiser. That’s more than the number attended by the last four presidents put together.
Obama has seen enough Architectural Digest–type interiors in Park Avenue triplexes and Beverly Hills mansions, and on the block in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, where every house is owned by a billionaire, to develop an expertise in Louis XV walnut commodes and Brunschwig & Fils fabrics.