The typical Midwestern business leader is a rock-ribbed Republican who favors socially moderate policies but strongly opposes more regulation and higher taxes. That makes it somewhat of a surprise that Barack Obama, a Democrat from Chicago's South Side, appears to be winning their hearts and wallets.
Hundreds of Chicago executives, lawyers and investment bankers have written checks to Obama, according to a Tribune analysis of campaign contributions during the first six months of this year. Most aren't hedging their political bets by giving money to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic Party's front-runner in national polls -- so far anyway.
Obama's allies in corner offices run the industry gamut from Exelon Chief Executive John Rowe to Madison Dearborn Chairman John Canning to Baxter International CEO Robert Parkinson.The Obama camp also is being supported by Brenda Barnes, the CEO of Sara Lee Corp.; William Osborn, the head of Northern Trust Corp.; and Michael Krasny, founder of CDW Corp.