Obama Nabs New York Bundler

Barack Obama has plucked another Democratic fund-raiser from Hillary Clinton’s home turf.

Steven Gluckstern, a politically active investment banker and former owner of the New York Islanders has joined Barack Obama’s national finance organization.

“People like me have to be looking well into six figures,” Gluckstern just told me in a telephone interview. “There is no question in my mind there will be people who will emerge who will raise well over a million dollars, maybe I will be one of those people.”

Gluckstern is best known in Democratic circles for having chaired the Democracy Alliance, a group formed in 2004 with the goal of funding progressive think tanks and advocacy groups. About 100 donors have joined the alliance, each having pledged to contribute a million dollars over a five-year period.

Gluckstern said that while he thought highly of the entire Democratic field, he chose Obama because “he has a way about him. There is a natural sense of leadership. I believe leadership comes from the nature of the person who provides it. It’s not necessarily something you learn.”

As for the challenge of raising money from Democrats in Hillary’s home region, Gluckstern said he welcomed the challenge.

“Given that this is her home town, there are a lot of people who are there and who are committed to her. But I have a lot of faith in people, that they will make their own judgments, and I welcome the challenge. I think it is clear someone like Senator Obama will do better in Chicago than he will in New York. People like to support people where they are from. It doesn’t discourage me at all to think of New York. I think New York is going to be an important place for the Senator.”

–Jason Horowitz