The profitable (White House) network

Written by admin on April 2nd, 2011

Some recent examples of the Washington revolving door from government official to private industry job.

Washington Post via Miami Herald

Peter Orszag, Obama’s former budget director, enhanced his own budget by taking a top job with Citigroup.   Ron Klain, Vice President Biden’s former staff chief, now makes money taking care of Steve Case’s money.   The Chamber of Commerce announced recently that former national security advisor James Jones is now advising its members.   Obama’s former deputy chief of staff, Mona Sutphen, staffs UBS Wealth Management.   Former White House counsel Greg Craig counsels clients of a big corporate law firm.  Former social secretary Desiree Rogers socializes with associates of the publishing company she runs.

And those are just a few.

Cashing in after a stint in government is certainly not new, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing that so many Obama administration officials are rushing to turn their public service into personal profit.   The Center for Responsive Politics already counts 314 Obama administration officials who have passed through the revolving door between the public and private sectors, compared to 511 from George W. Bush’s eight years and 348 from Bill Clinton’s.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising, because political figures of all stripes seem to have shed their senses of shame as they convert their influence into wealth.   Seven senators from the last Congress are already in lobbying-related businesses: Evan Bayh, D-Ind., Bob Bennett, R-Utah, Kit Bond, R-Mo., Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Judd Gregg, R-N.H., and Mel Martinez, R-Fla.   Fifteen recent House members are in lobbying trades, too, including once-dignified committee chairmen such as Ike Skelton, D-Mo., and Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich.   A dozen other just-retired lawmakers went into the corporate world.


Leave a Comment