As Hillary Clinton gears up her campaign in the final months before the first primary contests of 2016, it’s looking like she may get some significant support from one of America’s top billionaires. Warren Buffett is scheduled to appear at a rally with Clinton Wednesday as well as at a private fundraiser for the Democratic front-runner while she is in Omaha, Nebraska.
This is not the first Clinton event Buffett has attended this cycle — just last week he met with a group of 12 Wall Street executives at a fundraiser for the Hillary Victory Fund, a group whose proceeds go to both Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. But the repeat appearance has raised the question of whether Buffett is getting ready to put his fortune behind Clinton’s candidacy.
Buffett has called Clinton a “hero of mine” in the past, and he predicted last year that Clinton would win the 2016 election. ‘‘I will bet money on it,’’ he said, the Associated Press reported. ‘‘And I don’t do that easily.’’
But while he has already given Clinton a $2,700 check this year, Buffett’s full endorsement could bring a lot more with it. He is known as someone who appeals to both Wall Street types and regular Americans, the latter a group Clinton is still trying hard to win over. She often makes an effort to appear normal, using humor in her campaign materials and appearing with celebrities like Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of “Broad City” and Lena Dunham.
‘‘What he brings to the table is that he’s one of the few highly respected business people who average people view as one of them,’’ Marc Lasry, a New York hedge fund manager and Democratic donor, told the Associated Press. ‘‘He’s liked by lots of different kinds of people.’’
Buffett, who Forbes says is worth more than $60 billion, is a longtime Clinton supporter. He gave to Clinton’s Senate campaign in 2000, helped her raise money during her presidential run in 2008 and then endorsed Obama and has raised money for him, too. However, most of his donations in previous election cycles were in the small thousands, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
The billionaire has said in the past that he does not like super PACs and is wary of the increasing influence of money on politics, the Associated Press reported. Last year, he gave $25,000 to the pro-Clinton super PAC Ready for Hillary, which signaled to some Democrats that he might be willing to change his mind — but he then told CNN he did not know the group was a super PAC when he donated to it.
“I support her,’’ he told CNN in April. ‘‘I would not write a huge check. I would go out and raise money for her. I’d be delighted to do that. I would hope to do it.’’
As Clinton’s supporters continue to hope Buffett will come through for their candidate, she planned Wednesday to continue talking about ways to help the middle class and appeal to regular Americans. Clinton was expected to talk about a proposal to further increase taxes on wealthy Americans at her rally in Omaha, Nebraska, and to focus on an “expanded version” of what Obama has called the “Buffett rule,” which would ensure American households earning at least $1 million each year pay a tax rate of at least 30 percent.