Starting next month, Mary Landrieu is going to have a lot more time on her hands. That can be a great thing if you’re really looking forward to finally catching up on the Grand Theft Auto online game series, but such pursuits don’t really do much to pay the bills. The soon to be former Senator probably won’t have to worry about that too much, though. She’s reportedly a very hot topic on K Street.
Mary Landrieu may have lost her Senate seat, but the Louisiana Democrat is a hot commodity on K Street.
Several headhunters, veteran lobbyists and consultants said Landrieu’s status as a moderate Democrat and senior member of the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee make her a top recruit from Capitol Hill.
But even as a Democrat, Landrieu stands out among new retirees from a majority-Republican Congress.
“I think K Street would welcome [Landrieu] with open arms,” said Ivan Adler, a headhunter at The McCormick Group. “She’s extremely attractive to K Street because of her favorable views on business.”
I suppose she’d better find new work soon in the private sector because the Democrats who are flocking to the Elizabeth Warren wing of the party probably won’t too wild about her glowing, business friendly credentials. Of course, it’s not as if Landrieu has been averse to the whole lobbying thing. One of the early bones of contention in her ultimately losing campaign this cycle was the rather cozy relationship between her husband and lobbyists who were no strangers to her office.
Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) husband is slated to benefit financially from real-estate dealings with a lobbyist whose firm often has business before the senator.
Tony Podesta, cofounder of the Podesta Group, has retained Frank Snellings, Landrieu’s husband, to sell the Capitol Hill townhouse where he hosts prominent fundraisers and receptions, according to a report in the Washington Examiner.
If she makes the jump to K Street it will serve to shine a light on the rather ridiculous premise which was being peddled back when Republicans were in charge. The standard storyline in those days was that this was primarily a Republican problem. (This was from 2005.)
The lobbying boom has been caused by three factors, experts say: rapid growth in government, Republican control of both the White House and Congress, and wide acceptance among corporations that they need to hire professional lobbyists to secure their share of federal benefits.
“There’s unlimited business out there for us,” said Robert L. Livingston, a Republican former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and now president of a thriving six-year-old lobbying firm. “Companies need lobbying help.”
Funny how things change once the other party takes power, isn’t it? Retiring House and Senate members have to find something to do with their time, and like any good capitalist, you sell the merchandise you have. What they have is influence, and there is a lucrative market out there to peddle it. (Of course, I’m not sure how much influence Landrieu can claim after her attempt to get the Keystone pipeline project approved last month.) Still, the gates are now open, and with roughly half of all “retiring” Senators going into the influence selling business, Landrieu probably won’t shock anyone if she does. The side serving of hypocrisy is optional.