Hillary Clinton has made some of the same promises about keeping out lobbyists that President Obama did, Politico reports today. It’s interesting news, and as far as I can tell, it’s a scoop for Politico. But as the Obama administration passes into history, and a potential Clinton administration II tries to absorb some of Obama’s good-government aura.

Here’s the thing that the Politico piece doesn’t hit hard enough, though: That good-government aura of Obama is largely myth, and his revolving-door restrictions were toothless.

Politico’s headline calls Obama’s lobbyist rules “strict.” When discussing transition teams and restrictions on lobbyists it would seem relevant to note that the man Obama tapped to head his transition team was John Podesta who cofounded a lobbying firm, which is still run by his lobbyist brother Tony. The Podesta Group, incidentally registered 14 new lobbying clients (including tobacco, insurance, and banking companies) during the transition period, between Election Day and Inauguration Day.

During the transition period, unregistered lobbyist Tom Daschle was the healthcare reform czar. Daschle has since registered as an Aetna lobbyist. Senior transition-team staff were ex-lobbyists, including Michael Strautmanis and Melody Barnes. Other transition-team policy staff became lobbyists later, including David McIntosh who worked on energy policy on the transition team and later became a subsidy lobbyist for Siemens, which profits from green-energy subsidies and greenhouse gas restrictions.

Politico cites an Obama executive order that “bars registered lobbyists from working at federal agencies they lobbied within the past two years,” while noting the “Obama administration did issue waivers to some lobbyists in order to allow them to serve despite not meeting those requirements.”

But the waivers are beside the point. The waivers were mostly unnecessary because of all the holes in the lobbyist “ban.” A former lobbyist for the Swiss Bankers Association became IRS general counsel. A drugmaker’s lobbyist became general counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services. Four of Obama’s original cabinet appointees were former lobbyists. The chief of staff at Treasury had been a Goldman Sachs lobbyist just seven months before the election. One Google lobbyist became a top tech-policy aide in the White House and then discussed regulations which Google favored with Google employees. H&R Block’s CEO became an IRS official who then wrote rules regulating tax preparation, to the benefit of H&R Block.

In all, at least 100 lobbyists served in the Obama administration, the vast majority without waivers. Dozens of Obama staffers have cashed out as lobbyists in the precisely the area where they worked as public servants.

Timothy P. Carney, The Washington Examiner’s senior political columnist, can be contacted at tcarney@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears Tuesday and Thursday nights on washingtonexaminer.com.

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