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Let Them Eat Vivek

It takes upwards of a billion dollars these days to make it to the White House, more than a fair amount of dough, even for a candidate who today is worth some $800 million.
It takes upwards of a billion dollars these days to make it to the White House, more than a fair amount of dough, even for a candidate who today is worth some $800 million. Photo: Cheney Orr/Getty Images
Theodore Schleifer
August 29, 2023

Last Wednesday night, as donors milled around the cavernous 3rd St. Market Hall for the official afterparty of the first Republican debate, some guests noticed a surprising interloper. The invitation-only event, hosted by the Milwaukee 2024 Host Committee and sponsored by entities like the American Petroleum Institute, had a V.I.P. section. Spotted pottering around was none other than Vivek Ramaswamy

Just a few hours earlier, of course, Ramaswamy had been on the debate stage thundering that he was the “only candidate on stage not bought and paid for.” His arrival at a high-roller donor party struck some guests as a bit hypocritical. But it’s politics, and Ramaswamy knows the game: It takes upwards of a billion dollars these days to make it to the White House, more than a fair amount of dough, even for a candidate who today is worth some $800 million. Hence Ramaswamy’s efforts to quietly expand his rolodex of financial support, and why he and his wife were seen briefly working the crowd.