An Edwards Promise That Few Have Kept
By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
John Edwards vowed that if he becomes president "there will be no corporate lobbyists in the White House." If so, he would be the first president of modern times to be able to make that claim. President Bush has Edward W. Gillespie as a White House counselor and before he joined the White House he was registered as a lobbyist for 57 companies and associations.
Bush's former chief of staff Andrew Card was an auto industry lobbyist before he went to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Bush's first congressional liaison Nicholas Calio was a corporate lobbyist before he joined the White House as well. In fact, he was a corporate lobbyist before he joined the George H.W. Bush White House as well, also as congressional liaison.
The tendency is bipartisan. The Clinton White House had plenty of former corporate lobbyists including its former deputy chief of staff Steven Ricchetti and two of its congressional liaisons, Howard Paster and Patrick Griffin.
Jeffrey H. Birnbaum writes the K Street column on lobbying for The Post's In the Loop page.
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