“Only in today’s Washington could a president circumvent his own ban on hiring lobbyists by hiring the head of a lobbying firm,” said Dana Milbank regarding Vice President Joe Biden’s decision to hire Steve Ricchetti.
Barack Obama has made a point to decry lobbyists and their corrupting influence on government; first by restricting the hiring of lobbyists for administration jobs, followed by barring lobbyists from federal advisory panels. Obama has been consistent in one regard: there is scarcely a principle he has espoused without subsequently acting in a manner diametrically opposed.
Ricchetti’s firm — conspicuously named Ricchetti, Inc. — has represented the American Bankers Association, multiple drug companies, the American Hospital Association, military contracting giant United Technologies, and The Association for Advanced Life Underwriting. The firm’s issue areas, according to disclosure forms, include budget, energy, defense, banking, labor, and health care. What sort of counsel could Steve Ricchetti provide Biden without a blatant conflict of interest regarding the issues about which his firm is currently lobbying or recently lobbied?
We must all face the truth: Obama’s legacy will be the art he’s made of the juxtaposition between populist rhetoric and corrupt corporate action. Will you stand up to the pretense of a people’s movement by joining a real one?