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The redemption of Steve Rattner

By Laurie Bennett

January 29, 2013 at 8:45am

Appearing on “Morning Joe” Tuesday, Steve Rattner pointed out that he and his wife, Maureen White, former Democratic National Committee finance chair, were the second-biggest fundraisers for Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008.

He smiled after he said it.

Remember when Rattner was in the doghouse, sued by New York state and the Securities and Exchange Commission in an investigation of pay-to-play practices with the state pension fund?

No? Neither does anyone else, except maybe New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was then the attorney general filing the suit.

Rattner did not admit wrongdoing, but agreed to pay more than $16 million to settle civil charges. He also agreed to stay away from state pension funds for five years.

Since then, he has patiently and assiduously rebuilt his reputation, chairing a firm that handles investments for his friend, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; writing regularly for the op-ed pages of his former employer, the New York Times, published by another friend, Arthur Sulzberger Jr.; and making charts for “Morning Joe” and being careful not to antagonize host Joe Scarborough.

By the time Clinton announces her candidacy, Rattner, who enjoyed brief acclamation as President Obama’s auto czar, should be well positioned to assert a more prominent place in the Democratic Party.

Cuomo, whose name has been mentioned as a possible contender in 2016, will have to wait for another day.

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