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Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, predicts Obama victory -- maybe

November 02, 2012|By Paul Whitefield
  • Warren Buffett takes on table-tennis Olympian Ariel Hsing during Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholders meeting in May in Omaha.
Warren Buffett takes on table-tennis Olympian Ariel Hsing during Berkshire… (Alyssa Schukar / Omaha World-Herald/Associated…)

What does the Oracle of Omaha know that you and I don’t?

OK, sure, given that Warren Buffett is America’s second-wealthiest man (behind only Bill Gates) with an estimated net worth of $46 billion, the smart money is on the obvious answer: “A lot.”

Which explains why I’m so interested in his latest acquisition: Oriental Trading Co., the mail-order merchant that sells supplies, crafts, school supplies, toys and novelties. 

Is this just a matter of buying local?  After all, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is based in Omaha, and so is Oriental Trading Co.

Or is the 82-year-old Buffett a major party animal?

After all, he also owns International Dairy Queen Inc., which means he has the snacks covered. And he owns See’s Candies, whose treats make nice hostess gifts. Plus, if someone really gets carried away at one of his parties, he owns Helzberg Diamonds.  And, should an accident befall a guest coming to or leaving one of his soirees, he owns the Geico insurance firm.

Not to mention that he recently bought most of the publications in Media General Inc.’s stable, and in November he picked up his hometown newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald. So, should he feel the need for publicity, or just want to have his picture in the paper with a silly party hat on....

All in all, he’s a 21st century John D. Rockefeller/Standard Oil of the party scene, with a little William Randolph Hearst thrown in for good measure.

But I’d say this latest deal portends good things in America’s future. If the nation’s second-richest man is banking on a party-supply company, he must think Americans are going to have reason to celebrate.

And, going out on a limb here, this could be an omen from the Oracle for President Obama. Buffett famously came out in favor of the rich paying more in taxes -- the so-called Buffett rule -- which, of course, thrilled Obama and the Democrats and sent Republicans into apoplectic fits. 

So presumably Buffett not only thinks America is ready to party, but that the party will be led by the party now in power -- the one that's going to still be in power after Nov. 6. Led by DJ Obama, of course.

Or not.

It also could be something simpler, something less profound.

Maybe Mrs. Buffett sent him out to buy party supplies, and he just got carried away.

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