Hillary Clinton has 'unusual' fundraiser in SF

February 14, 2008 7:39:13 PM PST
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held an unusual fundraising event in San Francisco Tuesday. She invited one of wealthiest investors in the world to join her on stage at the Hilton -- and then she asked him questions.

We're used to seeing campaign surrogates, but usually, the candidate isn't sitting there next to him asking questions. However, that's what happened today.

It was a little odd from the very beginning. Mayor Gavin Newsom introduced Senator Hillary Clinton and up came Warren Buffet by himself.

Clinton was still making her way from a smaller and wealthier gathering of big donors in another room at the Hilton. Altogether, her campaign gathered up one million dollars.

You might think the 1,500 mostly white, mostly well to do supporters would come to hear Warren Buffet talk about making money. However, pretty quickly, the conversation turned to losing money.

"Do you still believe the U.S. dollar will decline in the future or has your thinking changed?" asked Clinton.

Hillary alternated questions from the audience with her own that were a bit more involved and sounded like they'd been taken from her campaign speeches.

Clinton painted a picture of the rich getting richer and the middle class being squeezed.

Warren Buffet added the finishing touches.

"The American worker went no place while the super rich flourished, aided by the tax code."

Buffet added that if we're going to level the playing field, keeping the estate tax would help.

"Leona Helmsley was the one who said 'only the little people pay taxes' and when she did, she left $4 million dollars to her dog. If there had been no estate tax, her dog could've had $22 million."

The most powerful point of the afternoon was It was Buffet's remarks on keeping the estate tax.

You have one of the wealthiest people in the country saying everybody's got to do their fair share. I'm really impressed by that," says Jennifer Raiser, Hillsborough.

Mayor Newsome has openly endorsed endorsed Hillary Clinton and was very impressed by Buffets's remarks.

"The idea of the estate tax has now perversely changed to the 'death tax'. It polls better for Republicans. The economic impact that has for him, to put it in the terms that he did, is very important for me," said Mayor Gavin Newsom.