A Lobbyist By Any Other Name

Kyle-Anne Shiver & Lee Cary
The recently released list of White House visitors suggests the new Obama definition of “lobbyist” as someone making a case to advance a special interest they get paid to represent.

Sounds like the old definition.

So what if Oprah dropped by, and George Clooney? (Nobody’s saying they were together.) Jesse Jackson’s been by six times, on pastoral calls no doubt. Al Sharpton a couple of times, too (assuming he’s the “Alfred Sharpton” on the list).  What else does he have to do?

Other noteworthy visitors to the White House include Jeffery Jones (8 visits), of the Apollo Alliance, co-founder of the Weather Underground, and active in drafting the porkulus bill.
 
Steve Gunderson (8 trips), President and CEO of the Council of Foundations that represents 2,000 grant-making foundations and corporations happened to be in the Pennsylvania Avenue neighborhood. No causes for him to lobby for; no foundations have political agendas. They support widows and orphans.

Kim Gandy (15), President of the National Organization of Women (NOW) came by to say hello. Slow day at the office. Plus she was doing gender head counts at the White House pick-up basketball games.

Then there’s Nancy Keenan (8), President of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (aka NARAL Pro-Choice) ducking in to say “thanks” for the Presidents support for abortion. That’s all.
 
No one should be surprised that John Podesta (18) President and CEO of the Center for American Progress visited plenty often. He was there to pass out extra tickets to the Nationals’ games. Plenty of them last season.

Linda Lipsen (5), Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the American Association for Justice (read “trial lawyers”) certainly has some interest in whether or not TORT reform makes it into any healthcare reform legislation, but would Linda come there to push AAJ’s agenda? Never in a million verdicts.
 
The one who most often drops in at 600 Pennsylvania is Andrew L. Stern (22), President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and supporter of universal health care and the Employee Free Choice Act.  Andy drops in periodically to chat with the White House employees to check if they’re union affiliated.  Can’t get that union organizer virus out of his system.

Look, none of these folks came to the White House to lobby for anything like lobbyists did in the old days of the Bush White House. It’d be silly to think that.

Call me silly.  

The recently released list of White House visitors suggests the new Obama definition of “lobbyist” as someone making a case to advance a special interest they get paid to represent.

Sounds like the old definition.

So what if Oprah dropped by, and George Clooney? (Nobody’s saying they were together.) Jesse Jackson’s been by six times, on pastoral calls no doubt. Al Sharpton a couple of times, too (assuming he’s the “Alfred Sharpton” on the list).  What else does he have to do?

Other noteworthy visitors to the White House include Jeffery Jones (8 visits), of the Apollo Alliance, co-founder of the Weather Underground, and active in drafting the porkulus bill.
 
Steve Gunderson (8 trips), President and CEO of the Council of Foundations that represents 2,000 grant-making foundations and corporations happened to be in the Pennsylvania Avenue neighborhood. No causes for him to lobby for; no foundations have political agendas. They support widows and orphans.

Kim Gandy (15), President of the National Organization of Women (NOW) came by to say hello. Slow day at the office. Plus she was doing gender head counts at the White House pick-up basketball games.

Then there’s Nancy Keenan (8), President of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (aka NARAL Pro-Choice) ducking in to say “thanks” for the Presidents support for abortion. That’s all.
 
No one should be surprised that John Podesta (18) President and CEO of the Center for American Progress visited plenty often. He was there to pass out extra tickets to the Nationals’ games. Plenty of them last season.

Linda Lipsen (5), Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the American Association for Justice (read “trial lawyers”) certainly has some interest in whether or not TORT reform makes it into any healthcare reform legislation, but would Linda come there to push AAJ’s agenda? Never in a million verdicts.
 
The one who most often drops in at 600 Pennsylvania is Andrew L. Stern (22), President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and supporter of universal health care and the Employee Free Choice Act.  Andy drops in periodically to chat with the White House employees to check if they’re union affiliated.  Can’t get that union organizer virus out of his system.

Look, none of these folks came to the White House to lobby for anything like lobbyists did in the old days of the Bush White House. It’d be silly to think that.

Call me silly.