I was just reading an article in last week's The Hill, and I couldn't help but notice a crescendo in the petulant tone coming from lobbyists. While it hasn't been a surprise to hear them suggest that Obama will have a hard time filling his Administration without them, this quote made me snort: Nick Allard from Patton Boggs' public policy department opined, "You don't want only virgins and academics in your administration."
Hey now. It's one thing to try to argue that the stranglehold of the revolving door was a good thing (although you won't persuade POGO of that), but it's pretty ridiculous to suggest that everybody who isn't a lobbyist either lives in their parents' basement or is obliviously ensconced in an ivory tower. Do I really need to point to the many qualified, dedicated people in the NGO community, the Hill, and the civil service who would want the job for the right reason--public service rather than private gain?
As we mentioned last week, we're pretty impressed with Obama's pledge to bar appointees for two years from working on regulations or contracts related to their prior employer. And if you haven't seen them yet, we have some recommendations of our own for limiting the harmful effects of the revolving door.
-- Danielle Brian