In assembling his team, President Obama has been staunch in his public statements that lobbyists would not find a revolving door from their private sector work into his administration.
His administration? Not quite as staunch. Spokesman Robert Gibbs has already admitted that there may be “reasonable exceptions” to the no-lobbyist rule for folks like Bill Lynn (who was a lobbyist for a defense contractor before being named to the #2 spot in the Department of Defense) and Bill Corr (the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services who used to lobby the department of Health and Human Services). Gibbs claimed that each could assume their positions under waivers to the ethics rules.
Could Richard Nixon have summed it up any better? (“Well, if the President does it, that means it’s not illegal.”)
Instead of the political grandstanding with sweeping regulations he didn’t intend to follow anyway, President Obama should have pursued a different strategy that he has been claiming all along: transparency. A simple index of any previous lobbying activity by any member of the Administration – available online – would have allowed our new President a chance to make a statement against DC influence peddling without looking like a hypocrite.
One thought on “Well, ok, maybe just a few more, but after that NO MORE LOBBYISTS!”
While I can see why you might think this to be hypocrisy all you need due is listen to Gibbs' pressers for clarification. Whether it be lobbying,torture, closing Gitmo, etc. it's all a "process" & please don't "prejudge the process". Ah, music to my hears in 2012 as all chant 'we don't need another 4 yrs. of "process"/VOTE REPUBLICAN!'