All about appearances

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on January 9, 2009

On principle, I think that prohibitions on lobbyists taking jobs in government agencies they once lobbied are unnecessary. While there may be concerns about where their loyalties lie -- with the government job they've got or the private sector job they left -- that's what inspectors general and oversight are for. Often these individuals have valuable expertise that is tough to get anywhere else.

President-elect Barack Obama appears to have come to a similar conclusion.

President-elect Barack Obama appointed a defense contractor's lobbyist Thursday to become the No. 2 official at the Defense Department, a choice that appeared to break with his self-imposed rules to keep lobbyists at arm's length.

Two things.

First, why is it that the mainstream media can't call it straight? "...appeared to break with his self-imposed rules?" The media knows what the rule is, as demonstrated in paragraph four:

Obama has vowed that no political appointees in his administration would be permitted to work on areas that "directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years." Although [William J.] Lynn heads Raytheon's division for government operations and strategy and was personally registered as a Raytheon lobbyist until July — both within that two-year period — Obama plans to give him the job.

So, he didn't "appear" to break his rule. He broke it.

Second, as a wise man once said: "All of Obama's promises come with an expiration date. All of them."

Tags

Hey @PolitiFactBias and @zebrafactcheck, is Newsweek an IFCN member? I was looking in the IFCN site earlier and didn't see a list of approved affiliates or whatever they call them.

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