OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HIRES LOBBYIST IT ATTACKED IN 2008
The Obama administration has hired former lobbyist Steve Ricchetti to serve as counselor to Vice President Joe Biden, Politico’s Mike Allen reports.
Ricchetti, who served as deputy chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, was a registered federal lobbyist for nearly a decade. In 2001, he founded Ricchetti, Inc.,described as “one of the most successful and respected boutique government relations firms in Washington.”
Ricchetti’s firm made millions lobbying on behalf of clients such as Fannie Mae and General Motors, both of which have been on the receiving end of taxpayer-funded bailouts.
Biden’s office, in a release announcing the hire, applauded Ricchetti’s extensive experience in “public service, business and political life,” which included “10 years at the helm of an independent public affairs firm.”
Given the critical stance taken by the Obama-Biden campaign in 2008—against lobbyists in general, and Ricchetti in particular—the hiring has raised eyebrows.
“I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over,” Obama said on Nov. 10, 2007 in Des Moines, Iowa. “They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.”
Obama also promised voters “lobbyists won’t find a job in my White House,” a claim the nonpartisan watchdog website Politifact.com has rated a “promise broken.”