John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Obama and the Lobbyists

Posted on June 6, 2008

     For the record, let me say that I am favor of a law that bans lobbyists from giving campaign contributions.   That way, I could easily ignore all those requests for money from many of the politicians who seem to hate lobbyists so much.


            Of course, if you are as rich as George Soros or any those other multi-billionaires who give so much money to the Democrats that they can fund their own political parties, the campaign laws don’t seem to apply to you.


            Barack Obama can take money from Soros, and more importantly, political support from his front group,, but he won’t take money from the normal schmucks who can only afford to give the paltry maximum contributions.


            Obama has gone through some interesting contortions to define what a lobbyist is and isn’t.   If you want to give to the junior Senator from Illinois, you have to show them your lobbyist termination report.  But if your spouse decides to give, you don’t have to get a divorce.  So, in that small sense, Obama is pro-family values.


            According to an excellent article in The Hill, 14 of Obama’s campaign fundraisers have lobbied in the past.  So you can have been a lobbyist in the past, and you can be a lobbyist in the future.  You just can’t be a lobbyist in the present.


            Obama likes to live in the present, apparently. But according to the Hill, Obama won’t be getting too many presents from the Clinton campaign.  Their fundraising operation was chock-full of lobbyists, and those people are now akin to second-class scum. Their money is not green enough to Obama.  Adios.


            The Democrats have taken only a partial pledge to give up so-called special interest money.  While lobbyist money is not good enough for the Obama campaign or now for the Democratic National Committee, it is apparently just fine for the Senatorial and Congressional committees.  That self-serving holier than thou attitude made famous by Barack Obam only goes so far with the rest of the Democratic Party.


            Lobbying is protected by the First Amendment.   Lobbyists give information to members of Congress so they can be better legislators, and they help normal Americans get access to the Capitol so they can get their grievances heard.  Lobbyists represents interests as varied as dairy farmers to the government of Pakistan.


            Some lobbyists give money for access, but my guess is that most lobbyists give most their money to people they agree with and they like.  There is nothing inherently evil about that, just as there is nothing inherently virtuous about Barack Obama’s mental gymnastics and verbal parsing as he tries to make villains out of a group of mostly patriotic Americans.

Subscribe to the Feehery Theory Newsletter, exclusively on Substack.
Learn More