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POLITICS

The Obama Revolving Door: Peter Orszag to Citi?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Remember that Barack Obama has bragged about "closing the revolving door between K Street and the executive branch."

He certainly hasn't "closed" the IN side of the revolving door -- more than 50 former lobbyists serve or have served in senior positions in his administration, including a Goldman Sachs lobbyist as chief of staff at Treasury, a Monsanto lobbyist as top food safety officer, and  a former Swiss Banker lobbyist as chief counsel at the IRS.

On the OUT side of the revolving door, there's been plenty of action, too, including former White House Counsel Greg Craig going to Goldman Sachs. The Financial Times reports on former budget director Peter Orszag going to Citigroup:

"People familiar with the situation said Mr Orszag, who left the White House team in July, was likely to be offered a position dealing with clients and top government officials rather than running a business.”

Folks at the Sunlight Foundation point out that if Orszag does in fact lobby top administration officials, he'll be violating the much-ballyhooed lobbying pledge Obama instituted. Sunlight's Paul Blumenthal writes:

It is highly unlikely that a former government official hired to contact current government officials can avoid activities that would constitute lobbying. In this case, what does that mean for the President’s ethics pledge? There is no real enforcement mechanism aside from Scout’s honor.

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