Thursday, January 22, 2009

Will Obama's new Pentagon pick be a victim of his new ethics rules?

Yesterday Obama unveiled a executive order to ban lobbyists from working in executive branch jobs related to the work of their former employers. Moreover, it would force appointees to recuse themselves from any business their former employers might have an interest.

Well... he may have forgotten about his choice for the Pentagon's second-in-command, currently a lobbyist for a defense giant Raytheon.


White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday in his first big presser that "even the toughest rules require reasonable exceptions," and that Lynn was "uniquely qualified. . . to serve the public interest in these critical times."

Double Oooopsies.

I think the issue here is that Obama is setting the bar higher than what is practical, given the massive amount of experienced people who have been involved in lobbying. It may have been a poor choice to announce this new rule now before all his staff is in place. We'll need to wait for him to make a persuasive statement on this. Having his Press Boy do it won't cut the political mustard.

Additionally, this goes to show that Obama may be as awesome as fresh warm rolls and kitten kisses, but WE CAN NOT STOP BEING INFORMED AND INVOLVED. If he messes up, we should call him on it. If he's truly as good as we all hope, he'll respond by being a better President.

UPDATE: Campbell Brown took a swipe at Obama for this: