Barack Obama is looking more like a realist
The president-elect who promised to overthrow Washington's partisanship and cronyism is turning to seasoned veterans -- even lobbyists -- in an apparent effort to avoid rookie mistakes.
By Janet Hook and Peter Nicholas
November 12, 2008
Reporting from Washington -- Now that the confetti has fallen, the nascent administration of Barack Obama has come face to face with one of its biggest challenges: living up to the exceptionally high expectations his thrilling campaign produced among supporters and long-suffering Democrats.
At his transition team's first public briefing Tuesday, the audience was wildly outsized for the presentation by the transition chief, owlish think-tank denizen John Podesta. . . .
. . . To burnish Obama's reformist credentials, Podesta on Tuesday rolled out what he billed as a tough set of ethics rules targeting professional lobbyists. But there was a loophole: Lobbyists could work on the transition as long as they stayed away from the policy areas that their lobbying involved.
As a candidate, Obama's language when it came to lobbyists was far more emphatic. "I have done more to take on lobbyists than any other candidate in this race
-- and I've won," he said in the South Carolina speech. "I don't take a dime of their money, and when I am president, they won't find a job in my White House."