Soros Felt Obama Wasn’t Aggressive Enough As A Liberal, Called Him His Biggest Disappointment

Written by Dana Sanchez


Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros was an early backer of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

That didn’t turn out the way he expected, the world’s world’s wealthiest hedge fund manager-turned-political-activist (net worth $8 billion) told New York Times contributor Michael Steinberger.

“Soros told me that Obama was ‘actually my greatest disappointment,'” Steinberger wrote. “Prompted by an aide, he immediately qualified himself, saying that he hadn’t been disappointed by Obama’s presidency but felt let down on a professional level. While he had no desire for a formal role in the administration, he had hoped that Obama would seek his counsel, especially on financial and economic matters. Instead, he was frozen out.”

Soros gave $5 million to help elect Obama in 2008, and later said he felt snubbed by the president, The Hill reported in 2015.

But Soros continued to support Obama’s initiatives, pledging in September 2016 to spend up to $500 million on Obama’s campaign to benefit refugees resettling, according to a Washington Times report.

Soros felt Obama wasn’t aggressive enough when it came to liberal causes, Politico reported:

“…though Soros backed Barack Obama over Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, he quickly soured on the Democratic president, who he felt was insufficiently aggressive in pursuing liberal priorities.”

Soros is no big fan of Donald Trump. He contributed $9.25 million to the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign. While he was among the top Clinton campaign contributors, Soros was by no means the largest — that ranking went to Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna — $35 million.

Soros said Trump “would like to establish a mafia state, but he can’t, because the Constitution, other institutions and a vibrant civil society won’t allow it,” New York Times reported.

Soros suggested his disappointment in Obama was partly his own fault, due to his “having fallen victim to an Obama personality trait”. Obama was known to take his supporters for granted, Soros said, according to the NYT:

“After Obama was elected, ‘he closed the door on me,’ Soros said. “He made one phone call thanking me for my support, which was meant to last for five minutes, and I engaged him, and he had to spend another three minutes with me, so I dragged it out to eight minutes.” He suggested that he had fallen victim to an Obama personality trait. “He was someone who was known from the time when he was competing for the editorship of The Harvard Law Review to take his supporters for granted and to woo his opponents,” Soros said.

A Holocaust survivor and Hungarian refugee, Soros founded the global philanthropy network, Open Society Foundations, to promote human rights, oppose intolerance and promote democracy.

In September 2017, Soros named former Obama aide Patrick Gaspard as the president of his global foundations, which are now in the No. 2 spot by assets among philanthropic organizations after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gaspard was a national Democratic Party official and former U.S. ambassador to South Africa.

George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations listens to the conference after his speech entitled “How to save the European Union” as he attends the European Council On Foreign Relations Annual Council Meeting in Paris, Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)