Obama and Trump on lobbyists: a study in contrasts

By Tom Quiner


Donald Trump didn’t take money from lobbyists. Hillary Clinton did. Barack Obama did.

Even more, Donald Trump is insisting that any member of a Trump Administration is subjected to a five year ban from lobbying once they move on. That doesn’t mean that former lobbyists aren’t involved in his transition team. They are. But it indicates a move in the right direction to “drain the swamp inside the Beltway.”

For a study in contrasts, the mainstream media (MSM) bent over backwards to downplay Hillary’s ties to lobbyists and power brokers who funneled money to her via the Clinton Foundation. On the other hand, the media suggested lobbyists were chomping at the bit to make a “comeback” if Romney got elected in our previous election cycle. Politico led the charge with a piece on October 15th of 2012.

By contrast, candidate Barack Obama proudly claimed he would never hire any lobbyists in his administration. He was adamant, as you can tell from his remarks here in Des Moines on November  10th, 2007:

“I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.”

He doubled down on his commitment to keep lobbyists out of his administration with these comments during a campaign speech:

“When I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House.”

The USA Today exposed his boast as a fraud. They revealed that his campaign fund-raising team included 38 lobbyists who had been paid $138 million to lobby the federal government in 2007. President Obama proceeded to appoint two lobbyists to his administration.

No one made candidate Obama hire lobbyists to raise money for his campaign and appoint them to his administration. Barack Obama made the choice even though it contradicted his campaign promise.

He hired another one in 2014, as reported by the Des Moines Register:

Congressman, ex-lobbyist get federal nominations

President Barack Obama has nominated a veteran Democratic congressman to direct the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and a top fundraiser and former lobbyist to head the Federal Communications Commission. Obama tapped Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., to the housing finance post, a job charged with regulating lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

No reference was made to the campaign promise candidate Obama made to the Register some seven years earlier.

In fairness, Mr. Obama has broken so many campaign promises, that it’s not even news anymore.

Let us hope Donald Trump succeeds where Barack Obama chose to fail. It is safe to say that the MSM will not be as kind to Donald if he doesn’t follow through on his campaign promises.


  1. d. knapp on November 18, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    IT’s about time!!! I’d like for political folks to do SOMETHING productive in their lifetimes. Its time these gvt types do their time and then go get a job or make some jobs …for someone other than themselves.

  2. Tom Maly on November 19, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I like your line “,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Obama has broken so many campaign promises it is no longer newsworthy”……Alas, so true!