PE Pros Don’t Like Mike

Buyout pros and venture capitalists contributed over $1.5 million to presidential candidates during the first three quarters of 2007, but not a single greenback made it into the coffers of GOP caucus winner Mike Huckabee. Sam Brownback got money. Joe Biden got money. Chris Dodd got (lots) of money. But nothing for the bass-playing preacher, who last night smacked around former buyout kingpin Mitt Romney.

I wonder if that will change if Huckabee somehow pulls out a strong showing in New Hampshire. Or is Huckabee actually the total antithesis of PE mindset: Liberal economic policy and conservative social policy…

Two other Romney notes:

1. In his concession speech last night, he said: “In the next ten years, we’ll see more progress, more change, than the world has seen in the last ten centuries.” That currently qualifies as the New Year’s dumbest comment, and means Romney should hand back his VC credentials. Maybe someone else wrote that for Romney and he just read it, but that only means that he’s channeling Ron Burgundy rather than Ronald Reagan.

2. Romney has a strong new radio and TV spot in New Hampshire, featuring former Bain Capital colleague Bob Gay (who is now launching a new fund with Steve Young, among others). Gay tells a story of how his teenage daughter Melissa once went missing in New York City, and how Romney stopped Bain business in order to get everyone in on the search. Gay’s daughter was found safe and sound two days later. Powerful testimonial, even if Romney’s efforts weren’t actually what led to Melissa’s discovery.

*** Also, it’s worth noting that Democratic winner Barrack Obama has raised the most money from VCs, and was second to Romney among buyout pros.

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