The White House welcomed Wall Street through its doors today with a visit from Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who was in town to speak at the Economic Club of Washington.
But it was not to meet with President Barack Obama, according to an administration official.
Instead, he was set to meet with chief of staff Jack Lew.
The president has had an icy relationship with Wall Street during his time in office as he’s pushed for greater regulation of the sector. He’s recently been criticized by the financial community for what they’ve seen as a vilification of the industry as a whole as he campaigns against Republican Mitt Romney — a former private equity executive.
The optics of a meeting with a Wall Street executive could be tricky for the president in the heat of the campaign, but he has been known to unofficially drop in on meetings as they’re happening. An administration official insists that even that would be a stretch, today, given what was said to be a flurry of activity inside the White House.
The last time Blankfein visited the White House was Oct. 12 to visit with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is also a liaison to the business community. Before today, visitor logs show he had dropped in at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 15 times — 6 of those visits to meet with the president.