With the Iowa caucus behind them, the political race for presidential candidacy inches forward for either party. But it’s Hillary Clinton that seems to be riding high on a wave of momentum, partly supported by billionaire George Soros.
Super PAC Priorities USA Action received $6 million in donations in December of 2015, the biggest single sum from Soros or any donor for that entire year. With it, Soros has committed $8 million throughout the last year to support of groups that are working to help the former Secretary of State become the 45th President of the United States.
Along with Forbes billionaire George Soros’ support, Priorities USA Action has collected a total of $41 million in funding, and now sits on a fund $36 million to carry out operations for as long as their candidate remains in the race. But while his support is substantial he isn’t alone. Herb Sandler and Donald Sussman, both from the world of banking, donated a combined $3 million. Haim Saban, from the world of film and television, donated $3 million along with his wife Cheryl. Even Working for Working Americans, a union-allied super PAC, dropped $1.5 million to back Clinton.
However, even with all these donors in the mix, this remains something of an unexpected move for Soros. The donations to Priorities USA and American Bridge 21st Century, both receiving $1 million a piece early on in 2015, was more conventional of his more recent political spending habits. Though often seen as a ready financier for political causes that have a home in the Democratic party, Soros’ readiness to spend has never been as high as it was in 2004 when he spread $20 million around several organizations with the expected goal of keeping President Bush from office for another four years. The eventual Bush victory and compounding criticism of Soros’ involvement made him reluctant to be as active in following election years.
During the last big election in 2012, Soros only contributed $1 million in funds to help President Obama achieve his second term in office by way of Priorities USA. And while his monetary contributions of any amount seem to suggest his support of the president in question, new emails shed light on his true feelings at the time. Through correspondence made available by the State Department, Soros and Hillary exchanged electronic correspondence where he expressed regret for not supporting her 2008 campaign as strongly as he’d wished, finding that they shared much more ideological commonalities than he had previously suspected.
After fleeing Hungary in 1947, Soros traveled through Europe and the UK before building a life in the United States and settling on a home and career that was firmly rooted in New York. Since 1974 Soros has been active in philanthropic causes concerning human rights abuses and government transparency, and now heads the Open Society Foundations which carries on this crusade.