Blackstone's James Rejected In Bid For White House Post

Feb 6 2013 | 2:22pm ET

Hamilton James, the number-two executive at the Blackstone Group, has apparently been looking for another job.

Fox Business reports that James, one of the few alternative investments honchos to raise large sums for President Barack Obama's reelection campaign last year, quietly asked the White House to consider him for a post but was turned down flat.

"He has been given the cold shoulder. He has essentially been told, 'Not now,' or maybe 'Not never,'" FBN's Charles Gasparino said.

James is widely seen as the presumptive successor to Blackstone chief Steven Schwarzman. But Gasparino said that, with both men in their 60s and with Schwarzman showing no signs of stepping down, Blackstone real-estate head Jonathan Gray is the real heir apparent at the private equity giant.

The unlikelihood of his taking the top post at Blackstone was a factor in James' seeking of a White House post.

According to Gasparino, who cited sources both close to the Obama administration and close to Blackstone, the spurning of a top fundraiser like James is a sign that the White House "equates tobacco or cigarettes with private equity." Obama spent much of the campaign last year attacking former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, his Republican rival for the presidency, for Romney's work as founder of p.e. firm Bain Capital.

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