Obama Team Has Wiggle Room for Hiring Lobbyists

Candidate has pledged that lobbyists won't run show
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 1, 2008 12:25 PM CDT
Barack Obama speaks during a rally at Wicker Memorial Park in Highland Ind., Friday, Oct. 31, 2008.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama has said lobbyists “won’t run my White House,” but the realities of Washington dictate that some will play important roles in his or any administration. In fact, the Obama camp is working out hiring rules that would prohibit registered lobbyists from holding high-ranking White House jobs but permit them to work elsewhere in the administration, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“You can't staff the entire government without people who are lobbyists, it's just not possible,” says a, ahem, Democratic lobbyist. Obama officials would reportedly bar lobbyists from taking jobs in their fields of interest; a transportation lobbyist could work in, say, the Agriculture Department, the Journal notes. Both Obama and McCain also promise to put restrictions in place to prevent an administration official from quitting, then turning around and immediately lobbying his former colleagues.