Lobbyists Run the Obama White House

Remember this?

Throughout his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama made promises like these in just about every stump speech.  In the clip above from College Park, MD, he pledged that “[lobbyists] will not run my White House and they will not drown out the voice of the American people when I am President of the United States of America.”

While generally a leftist partisan, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has a piece out today exposing just how much of a mockery the President has made of his anti-lobbyist pledge.

But on Monday, the president brought in one of this town’s most prominent lobbyists to run his White House…

Steve Ricchetti, whose long list of lobbying clients included Fannie Mae, General Motors, the American Hospital Association and Eli Lilly, was tapped to be counselor to Vice President Biden.

Ricchetti achieved this feat — getting around the ban on lobbyists serving in the administration — by using one of Washington’s most-honored traditions: the loophole. Just as Obama won the presidency, Ricchetti de-registered as a lobbyist for his various clients. But he remained president of the lobbying firm that continued to work for many of those same clients, as well as a few more, such as the American Bankers Association.

Only in today’s Washington could a president circumvent his own ban on hiring lobbyists by hiring the head of a lobbying firm.

[...]

Ricchetti’s hiring is not a unique event. Obama’s campaign has hired Broderick Johnson, who had been a lobbyist for Microsoft, Comcast and TransCanada, the company seeking to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Earlier, Obama administration officials got around their self-imposed rule (which prevents a lobbyist from serving for two years) by granting waivers to people Obama sought to appoint, such as former Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn, who got a top job at the Pentagon.

Most of the comments to Mr. Milbank’s column aren’t worth reading — many are excuses for Obama’s behavior, while others take solace in the fact that Obama isn’t as bad as Bush was in this regard.  But my favorite comment of the bunch comes from someone named “mr_silverman”:

I voted for Obama in 2008. More than 1000 showers later, I still feel unclean.

  1. DocJay

    What is worse, having transparency and lobbyists in a revolving door or lying about it as Obama does?

    These issues should be campaign ads.

  2. Mel Foil

    They’ve created a White House that Putin would be very comfortable running. Either Putin or Al Capone.

  3. Severely Ltd.

    Is there a website where Obama’s broken campaign promises are collected? If not, it would be a joyous task for Ricochet. 

  4. Palaeologus

    It’s getting close to campaign season, time for Dana to reapply that thin veneer of objectivity to screen all the sycophancy we’ll see   from him this summer and fall.

    Oh, and Obama is about as ethical as the Clintons.

  5. Severely Ltd.
    Palaeologus: Oh, and Obama is about as ethical as the Clintons. · 1 minute ago

    Yeah, and there are two of them.

  6. Tom Lindholtz

    The entire fall campaign could well be comprised of nothing but video of Obama’s broken promises, followed by “(GOP Candidate) will bring you the hope and change you thought you were going to get four years ago.”

  7. Terrell David

    Nobody who supports Obama now cares about what he said then.

    It’s all justified because of what President Obama has been able to get done.

  8. Richard Stewart

    @Etoiledunord, you’re onto something for sure; what else should we expect from the guy who cut his teeth in Chicago/Cook County politicking?/?

    Is it going to get worse before it gets better, or is it merely going to get worse? Am I really going to have to hold my nose and vote for you-know-who in next Tuesday’s primary, only to see him get clobbered come November, and then watch government of, by, and for the people really perish from the earth?

  9. Diane Ellis
    C
    Severely Ltd.: Is there a website where Obama’s broken campaign promises are collected? If not, it would be a joyous task for Ricochet.  · 17 hours ago

    This indeed would be a great resource. We should do it. Members get to work! I’ll compile all posts about Obama’s broken promises onto one page so that we can have a handy resource to direct our friends and Facebook faux friends to.

  10. Severely Ltd.
    Diane Ellis, Ed.

    Severely Ltd.: Is there a website where Obama’s broken campaign promises are collected? If not, it would be a joyous task for Ricochet.  · 17 hours ago

    This indeed would be a great resource. We should do it. Members get to work! I’ll compile all posts about Obama’s broken promises onto one page so that we can have a handy resource to direct our friends and Facebook faux friends to. · 14 minutes ago

    Did I say joyous? I should’ve said daunting. Get member Sisyphus to help, he knows about these sorts of jobs.

    It would be nice to have a ready resource to refer people to in those polite, scholarly dust-ups the internet is known for:

    “You @#$ blockhead, cf. promise #1,482…

  11. DutchTex

    Jim Geraghty at NRO has quite a list, through 2010.  

    As he says:  ”All Barack Obama statements come with an expiration date. All of them.” 

  12. Diane Ellis
    C
    DutchTex: Jim Geraghty at NRO has quite a list, through 2010.  

    As he says:  ”All Barack Obama statements come with an expiration date. All of them.”  · 4 hours ago

    This is an excellent list.  Thanks for pointing it out, DT.  I hope Jim updates it this year. Plenty to add.

  13. Severely Ltd.

    The one we really need to hold him to is: “I’ll be a one term president if I don’t fix this economy in three years .”

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