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Monday, September 20, 2010

Obama's day: Talking jobs on CNBC Obama will discuss the state of the economy and answer questions during a live town hall event at 12 p.m. on CNBC "Investing in America"

When President Barack Obama takes the stage at Monday’s Town Hall event, many on Wall Street will be watching to see if he keeps up his attacks on banking executives as "fat cats" or adopts a more conciliatory tone.

President Barack Obama


For most of this year, Wall Street has felt it has been under siege by the White House. The Obama administration has positioned itself against Wall Street on the level of policy and with heated rhetoric.

But in recent weeks, the White House has been reaching out to Wall Street behind the scenes. White House officials have placed calls to top executives at major financial firms with the message that the administration does not view Wall Street as an antagonist, according to several sources familiar with the conversations.

The big question Wall Street is wondering is which Obama will appear at the Town Hall: the conciliator or the fat-cat-bashing populist?

Wall Street and the administration have been at odds over bonuses and the Volcker Rule. But it is the fiery rhetoric that seems to have most alienated Wall Street from the president.

"The president tried to deflect attention from his inability to get the economy rolling by bashing Wall Street. That’s just cheap politics," one Wall Street executive recently told CNBC.

No one expects a major pro-Wall Street change of policy from Obama on Monday. But they would like to hear less of an “us-versus-them” tone from the president.

"While I'd like to get the sense that Obama is calling a truce in his war against Wall Street, I'm not exactly sure I can keep that particular hope alive," said David Katona of Abundance Partners, a New York based hedge fund.It's day of policy and politics for President Obama, who noon hosts a town hall meeting on jobs that is sponsored by the CNBC financial news network. As Obama speaks, some unemployed Americans in their 50s wonder if they will ever work again.

Late this afternoon, Obama flies to Philadelphia to raise money for the Democratic Party and Senate candidate Joe Sestak.

In other news:

Fundraising for the mid-term elections as a whole are breaking all sorts of records, writes Fredreka Schouten of USA TODAY. Meanwhile, our Kathy Kiely reports on the internal battle between Tea Party backers and establishment Republicans.

Meanwhile, some Obama aides are reportedly considering ads seeking to tie all Republicans to alleged Tea Party extremism. This while some House Democrats appear to be distancing themselves from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

One of the big Republican stars is Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio, and Susan Page of USA TODAY reports on his race.

Losses are mounting in the Gulf Coast region thanks to the months-long oil spill, USA TODAY's Rick Jervis reports.

There are new proposals to crack down on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, reports Alison Young of USA TODAY.

Later this week Obama heads to New York for meetings at the United Nations, which is struggling to prove its relevance.

We'll be here all day at The Oval, reporting on Obama's jobs town hall and other activities. Please check us out and have a good day.

Obama will discuss the state of the economy and answer questions during a live town hall event at 12 p.m. on CNBC "Investing in America"

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