Vote For a Symbol, Find Reality More Complex
President-elect Barack Obama, who vowed during his campaign that lobbyists "won't find a job in my White House," said through a spokesman yesterday that he would allow lobbyists on his transition team as long as they work on issues unrelated to their earlier jobs.
Obama's transition chief laid out ethics rules - which also bar transition staff from lobbying the administration for one year if they become lobbyists later - and portrayed them as the strictest ever for a transfer of presidential power.
But independent analysts said yesterday that the move is less than the wholesale removal of lobbyists that he suggested during the campaign - and shows how difficult it will be to lessen the pervasive influence of more than 40,000 registered lobbyists.
"Hope" and "Change" are advertising, not reality.