Newsweek features this Jacob Weisberg column apparently faulting President Obama’s lobbyist restrictions for failing to distinguish what Weisberg sees as “good” lobbyists from “bad” lobbyists.
The president could deal with Washington sleaze much more effectively through explanation and symbolism. Instead of tying his own hand with counter-productive rules, he could instruct his staff to avoid dealing with hired-gun lobbyists, putting interest groups on notice not to hire them. He could explain the difference between influence peddlers and committed advocates, reminding the country that he was once one of the latter, when he lobbied for public-housing residents in Chicago. Best of all, he could say people like [Human Rights Watch advocacy director] Tom Malinowski are welcome in his White House and that people like [Washington Democratic fundraiser and former Sallie Mae lobbyist] Tony Podesta aren’t.