Beltway Lobbyists Are Ready For Hillary

Bill, too

• January 30, 2015 4:42 pm


THE POLITICO reports that Beltway lobbyists are fed up with President Obama’s alleged "disdain" for their profession and are eagerly awaiting the election of a president who will love them as they deserve to be loved: Hillary Clinton.

Democratic lobbyists have griped privately for years, and some have even complained publicly over Obama’s disdain for their profession.

That wasn’t the case during the Clinton administration, according to several lobbyists.

"The Clinton administration had a different view of lobbyists from the Obama administration," said Tony Podesta, a veteran Washington powerbroker. "More important to being invited to parties, friends of the president, friends of the administration were frequently called upon to provide thoughts, advice, suggestions and be an echo chamber for what the White House was trying to do."

"It was not only effective, but it was so much fun too," said veteran lobbyist Tom Quinn. "The social events at the White House were fun. He would have a DNC event followed up with a state dinner."

Democratic members of Congress are also looking forward to an administration that will make them feel special by showering them with perks and insincere attention. The griping from lawmakers in this story, which almost makes me want to side with Obama, really underscores the fact that politicians are cheap dates. And if there's anyone who knows a thing or two about cheap dates, it's William Jefferson Clinton:

Philadelphia Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah, who was elected in 1994, described Bill Clinton’s relationships on the Hill as "extraordinary."

"I don’t think this is just looking at it through rose-colored glasses," Fattah said, noting that when Clinton came to Philadelphia, he would meet the president at the airport, ride in the limo and take him to play golf… 

"[Clinton] did something that this president doesn’t do at all. Every time the 747 lifted off the ground, it was filled with members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats. I went to India with him, I went to South America with him, I went to Asia … and I went to Africa," said Rep. Jim McDermott. "He was inclusive."

The Clintons were so close to the Washington state lawmaker that Bill Clinton helped raise money for him when the House Ethics Committee investigated him over leaking a recorded telephone conversation during the 1997 investigation of then-Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Riding in the limo, flying on Air Force One, getting bailed out of an ethics investigation: These are the things that matter to our elected leaders. It's something Obama might have picked up on if he'd had even a little bit of experience running anything in his life before becoming president.

Americans have the opportunity to send an important message in 2016–lobbyists are people, my friend–by sending Bill and Hillary Clinton back to the White House.