Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why Did He Bother?

On his first full day in office, Obama made a show of signing an executive order that says that lobbyists will not be allowed to work in his administration. Upon signing the order, he released the following statement. Credit for story here.

"If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on or in the agencies that you lobbied during the previous two years," Obama said. "When you leave government, you will not be able to lobby my administration for as long as I am president."

Since then, I don't think he has had a nomination for his administration that hasn't violated this rule. According to the National Journal Magazine:

As of January 21, Obama had nominated two recent lobbyists to high-level administration posts, and 14 of the 112 White House staffers that Obama had named had been registered as lobbyists at some point since 2005.

This is over 12% of his nominees. Of course the media is not reporting this. The only one that has gotten any play at all is the Deputy Secretary of Defense, William Lynn. Following is a partial list of lobbyists that Obama has nominated for his administration.

This month, Obama nominated William V. Corr, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, to be deputy Health and Human Services secretary. He also tapped William Lynn, vice president of government operations and strategy at Raytheon, to be deputy Defense secretary. Both men were federally registered lobbyists until June 30, 2008.

Expectations are that three other lobbyists or former lobbyists will be nominated for political positions: Richard Verma, a lobbyist for Steptoe & Johnson, is rumored to be in line for the post of assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the State Department; Mark Patterson, who was a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs until April 11, 2008, is being considered for a top job at the Treasury Department; and Mark Gitenstein, who took a leave from Mayer Brown last summer, is said to be Obama's choice to head the Justice Department's Office of Policy -Development.

Let's go back to the original quote above though. "If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on or in the agencies that you lobbied during the previous two years," This in itself is a statement that has, shall we say evolved, over the last year.

In November 2007, Obama boasted at a campaign event that lobbyists "won't find a job in my White House." He later softened that rhetoric to say that lobbyists "won't dominate" the White House.

Under George Bush hiring lobbyists was blasted. There were charges of cronyism, political payback, buying administration jobs, etc. Now it's OK to ignore your own standards if you feel the person is qualified. It's a new day folks.

Bottom line is this whole mess brings two questions to mind.

Is there anybody on the left who could be confirmed without special exemptions? We have had a Treasury Secretary who had to pay his back taxes before he could be confirmed. A Secretary of State who the Senate had to ignore all conflict of interests standards to confirm. If anybody is really paying attention, they would realize that one of the only appointments that Obama has made that did not need a special exemption was a hold-over from the Bush administration, Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Of course Obama made up for this by appointing a lobbyist as his deputy secretary.

Finally, why did he bother? The ink wasn't even dry on the executive order before Obama violated it.

The answer is, because he can. With the media swooning at his every word he can make a grand pronouncement about something and the media will get a chill down it's collective leg. They will be so enraptured by his brilliance and the "change" he is bringing to Washington that they will not notice that he is actually doing just the opposite.

If there is one campaign promise he has kept so far, it's this. He did bring "change" to Washington.


Brooke said...

Obama is a liar, plain and simple. He'll continue to get away with it with the MSM unquestioningly in his corner, too.

stormin said...

just another example of "do as i say, not as i do".

Z said...

Ya, the CHANGE is "I get EVERYTHING I want and the media LOVES me...."

Imagine the change from Bush to THIS? OY!!! This guy is TOTALLY protected! They do his bidding....I swear Chris Matthews would to get to know Barack...mUCh........BETTER! HEH!!

Z said...

Chuck, by the know that scandal when Dennis Quaid's twins were given WAY too much heperin (is that the name?)when they were born?
They're a friend's grand niece and nephew and another friend's daughter works at Cedars, where that happened...she wasn't on duty that night, thank goodness, or she'd have had depositions even if she'd not been directly involved, etc.
Anyway, the other night, she realized some doc had prescribed six times too much of a med for a little kid in peds! She said she'd have looked anyway, but that Quaid thing REALLY made an impression on the nurses...I thought it's interesting that a nearly terrible story (the twins are 100% okay now) might affect other childrens' lives in a good way, you know? Your being an RN, I thought you'd find that interesting. xxx

Chuck said...

Brooke, he's Clintonesque

Stormin, the liberal mantra

Z, we really should give Chris and Obama their privacy

I take a dim view of the Quaid case. This was an unavoidable mistake by these RN's. This is one of my pet peeves. There is some truth to the notion that the drug companies package these drugs in an unsafe manner but the RN simply had to read the bottle. I do not buy this "they're overworked and get rushed" that's horseshit. When you are dealing with the safety of a patient, you take the time. I know this seems harsh but I hold RNs to a very high standard.

As far as the doctor ordering the wrong dose, I have caught the same thing. More than once. I had a resident tell me to give 10 milligrams of a nausea medicine IV. I asked him did he mean 1 milligram? His reply was no, his palm pilot said 10 milligrams. I told him it was wrong, check again. I explained to him that you can take 10 milligrams by mouth but only took 1 or 2 milligrams by IV. He was willing to rely on his palm. This is kind of an obscure drug and a lot of nurses would have given 5 to 10 times the regular dose. It's scary.

CJ said...

Obama is getting pass on everything he has said and I am dumbfounded. Why are the things he's doing so wrong and George Bush did the same thing and he's blasted. Called horrible names. The MSM is all gaga over this idiot like those women in heat from the View.

He won! He can do whatever he pleases because his liberal idiot voters worship him and are mesmerized by him. Beats me!

Where are all the talk show idiots bashing him for going in the wrong door the other day? IT went all over the world when Bush did it???

Chuck said...

CJ, that was the point I made at Stormin's blog. Will Obama's door problem be aired continously for a week on the news and late night tv

M.A. said...

This is exactly why he didn't want to talk to the Politico reporter.

Chicago politics in the White's going to be a long four years.