Did you catch this Op-Ed by Frank Bruni in the Times two days ago? “The GOP’s gay trajectory.” It’s all about Paul Singer, a billionaire hedge fund guy who has been a major player in pushing the GOP left on gay rights. He’s not gay himself, but his son is.
That character is Paul E. Singer, 67, a billionaire hedge fund manager who is among the most important Republican donors nationwide. In just one Manhattan fund-raiser last month, he helped to collect more than $5 million for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
He steadfastly supports conservative candidates. He also steadfastly supports gay rights in general and marriage equality in particular. Along with a few other leading Wall Street financiers, he contributed and helped drum up the majority of the money — more than $1 million — that fueled the campaign for same-sex marriage in New York.
But what makes Johnny run? Singer is also a neoconservative who cares deeply about Israel. He sits on the boards of Commentary magazine and formerly on the board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. He is chairman of the Manhattan Institute board, which includes Bill Kristol. That thinktank has a neoconservative line on foreign policy. As Alex Kane writes in tipping me off, “I bet Bruni will not be running any columns on rich donors keeping the Democrats and the GOP to the Likud line.”
But Landon Thomas Jr of the Times reported this about Singer just five years ago:
Mr. Singer, 62, is the founding partner of Elliott Associates, a $7 billion hedge fund with a conservative, risk-averse bias that has been in business since 1977, making it one of the oldest funds around. A reserved, private man who would answer questions only via e-mail, Mr. Singer is a self-described conservative libertarian who has given millions of dollars to Republican organizations that emphasize a strong military and support Israel..
He believes in the doctrine of American exceptionalism and is wary about United States involvement in “international organizations and alliances.” As for the war in Iraq, he said, “America finds itself at an early stage of a drawn-out existential struggle with radical strains of pan-national Islamists.”