-By Warner Todd Huston
Barack Obama made a big show in 2008 of attacking evil Washington lobbyists. He campaigned on “change we could believe in” and aimed one of those things to believe in at eliminating lobbyists from Washington. But, it’s just another lie from Obama, in the end.
Obama cruised into office with the claim that he’d have “the strictest ethics rules” against lobbyists of any president ever. Naturally, almost immediately he began to waive these “rules” to allow lobbyists into his administration.
This week, quite contrary to his loud proclamations against lobbyists, we saw that yet another lobbyist join Obama.
Obama has taken on Broderick Johnson, a long-time lobbyist for such corporations as Comcast, Microsoft, and Financial Services Forum, and belonged to a group that counts among its members executives from Goldman Sachs, AT&T, JP Morgan Chase, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and US Bancorp.
In fact, these companies are all the ones that Obama has been attacking as evil for the last four years. Now he’s hired one of them for his campaign team?
An aide to Obama tried to emphasize that Johnson is no longer a lobbyist. But his last stint on K Street was only about 7 months ago. Johnson hasn’t been out of the lobbying game for even a year yet and Obama is taking him on.
What will Johnson be doing? What else but plying his lobbyist contacts to get Obama campaign cash from the very titans of industry (and banking) that Obama has geared his entire administration toward attacking and attempting to ruin.
Amusingly, in his press release announcing Johnson’s addition to the campaign, Obama — the self-proclaimed king of transparency — somehow forgot to mention that Johnson recently worked for the lobbying firm Bryan Cave.