President Obama took office as perhaps the most anti-lobbying president ever, barring lobbyists from joining his administration and advisory boards. But the Washington Post looked over the White House visitor logs, and found that lobbyists still have plenty of access to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., with what it characterized as a "steady stream" visiting every day. A White House spokesman points out that it's the first administration to open its guest logs, but the Post points out that it only did so to settle a lawsuit.
Some of the lobbyists represent obvious Obama allies simpatico with his stated policies. "We're not dealing with any state secrets here," says a lobbyist for the AFL-CIO, who has visited more than 50 times. But many are simply people with personal ties to the administration representing corporate interests. The husband of Obama's former energy czar, for instance, came bearing a pitch from the Credit Union Association. But "had it been the Bush administration, we probably would have asked one of our Republican consultants to go," the association's top lobbyist says. "That's the way it works."