Old and busted: Lobbyists are the problem in Washington, keeping entrenched politicos in office, and more interested in big donors than actual constituents. New hotness: Some of my best friends, er, senior political advisers are lobbyists:
President Obama’s reelection campaign has hired a former lobbyist to serve as a senior adviser to the 2012 team.
The Obama campaign announced Monday the hiring of Broderick Johnson, a veteran of the Clinton White House and Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) 2004 presidential campaign.
Obama positioned himself as an enemy of K Street and special interests during his first presidential campaign. He repeatedly vowed that lobbyists would not run his White House and refused to accept campaign contributions from registered lobbyists.
Hey, not to worry — Johnson hasn’t lobbied in ages. In fact, it’s been 26 whole weeks since Johnson lobbied in Washington!
And guess who some of his clients were:
Johnson is a former partner at the law firm Bryan Cave and was registered to lobby up until April 2011 for several major companies and trade groups, such as the Financial Services Forum, Comcast Corporation, and Microsoft, according to lobbying disclosure records.
Well, well, well. How will the Occupy Movement handle the news that Obama’s new political sherpa lobbied for a group that numbers among its members executives from Goldman Sachs, US Bancorp, JP Morgan Chase, UBS, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America? Oh, and who else do we see on this list? Could it be …. Robert Benmosche, CEO of AIG? Yes, the very same man who blasted Congress in 2009 and bragged that he would refuse to appear if summoned to Capitol Hill. He also demanded a corporate jet from AIG while it was still in the process of being bailed out by American taxpayers.
Say, didn’t Obama have an opinion or two this year about corporate jet owners?
Obama’s team insists that they won’t take any lobbying money from K Street, but it’s pretty clear that Johnson isn’t coming to Obama’s rescue among the lobbying community. Johnson got hired to try to wheedle more money out of Wall Street, where his previous lobbying gives him deep connections to the finance industry — which has turned its back on Obama. Perhaps Johnson will succeed in restarting the contribution spigot for Obama on Wall Street, but that’s hardly the change on which he campaigned in 2008 … and the financial industry is not likely to buy Obama’s change in 2011 to a class-warfare demagogue while his allies on the Left demonize them on the streets below their offices.