Friday, June 19, 2009

If you take money when you're not in the room, did you really take the money? 

Lawyers are taught to "leave the room" if something untoward is going on. Back in the day, I learned antitrust law from a former head of the Justice Department's antitrust enforcement group. One day he told us that if we were ever present when two competitors discussed fixing prices, we should grab the nearest glass of water and dramatically pour it out on the table. Why? So "everyone will remember when you left."

Well, apparently Barack Obama learned pretty much the same thing at Harvard:

When President Obama arrived at the Mandarin Oriental hotel for a fund-raising reception on Thursday night, the new White House rules of political purity were in order: no lobbyists allowed.

But at the same downtown hotel on Friday morning, registered lobbyists have not only been invited to attend an issues conference with Democratic leaders, but they have also been asked to come with a $5,000 check in hand if they want to stay in good favor with the party’s House and Senate re-election committees.

The practicality of Mr. Obama’s pledge to change the ways of Washington is colliding once more with the reality of how money, influence and governance interact here. He repeatedly declared while campaigning last year that he would “not take a dime” from lobbyists or political action committees.

So to follow through with that promise, Mr. Obama is simply leaving the room.

Hmmm. I'm not sure that when Obama said he would "not take a dime" people understood that he meant that he, personally, would not actually carry out the bags of cash. We're going to have to pay closer attention to what this guy says.


By Anonymous tyree, at Fri Jun 19, 10:13:00 AM:

"We're going to have to pay closer attention to what this guy says."

It's pretty obvious that everyone should have paid more attention. The current Presidents actual lies far outstrip President Bushes alleged lies.  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Fri Jun 19, 12:39:00 PM:

To paraphrase Princess Bride, "I do not think those words mean what you think they mean."  

By Blogger rickl, at Sat Jun 20, 02:53:00 PM:

As I recall, he also said to the bitter clingers, "I'm not going to take away your guns."

From the start I took it to mean that he, personally would not.  

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