Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards may be continuing to take swats at Hillary Clinton's statement on Saturday that she would not stop accepting money from lobbyists because they "represent real Americans."
But one group is feeling pretty good about Clinton's defense of the most maligned group in Washington -- the lobbyists themselves.
Brian Pallasch, who heads the American League of Lobbyists, said he was so thrilled with Clinton's unexpected defense of the profession, he sent news accounts of her remarks to his group's board.
"It's true!" Pallasch said of Clinton's "real Americans" rejoinder. "She's absolutely dead on."
Pallasch said the lobbying profession has taken it on the chin in the days since the Jack Abramoff scandal sunk into the public consciousness. When Obama and Edwards announced they would avoid money from Washington lobbyists (though at times accept the money from the special interests those lobbyists represent), Pallasch said his inclination was to stay out of it. "Our folks just decided to lay low."
So you can imagine his surprise when Clinton lept to the defense of lobbyists last weekend. "It's certainly their right, if they don't want to take money from a lobbyist. That's fine," Pallasch said. "But to somehow villify the profession in the process? That's wrong."
Added Pallasch: "I was glad it was said."
-- Matthew Mosk
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