According to notoriously loose-lipped Washington gossip Robert Novak, Illinois Senator and presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama has been making inroads with a traditionally staunch Republican constituency -- corporate CEOs.
Sen. Barack Obama has been meeting secretly with heavy industry CEOs in Washington to discuss issues that he would face as president.
On the campaign trail, Obama has been highly critical of corporate executives and promised them nothing but tougher regulation and higher taxes. But the unannounced, small evening sessions with them since he clinched the Democratic nomination have been non-confrontational and cordial.
Obama scheduled the meetings without any hopes of winning the captains of industry over from Sen. John McCain, but to show them they would be able to do business with him in the White House and that the president's door would be open to the corporate leaders. Their consensus was that he has largely succeeded in that purpose.
Novak didn't post a list, but I was able to hunt at least a partial one down from NBC’s Athena Jones that includes James Bell, CFO of Boeing, and Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford (other names mentioned included Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase; and Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, among others).
Now, I don't expect these guys to go as far as other conservative stalwarts (see Susan Eisenhower, Larry Hunter et al) and actually come out with endorsements but still, if Obama starts making gains in the manufacturing executive demographic, I can't see as it will be a good year's end for McCain.