Lobbyists Adjust for Obama Administration

By Beacon Staff

It’s two days after Election Day, and the national press has rapidly pivoted from its “What a Historic Moment” essays about the election of the first African American to the presidency, to the bleaker, but necessary stories focusing on the “Daunting Tasks Next President Faces.” It’s fairly straightforward stuff, but what I found most interesting in the spate of stories about how the political landscape is changing, was a recent story in Politico about how massive and powerful Republican lobbying firms on K Street in Washington, D.C. are acquiring smaller Democratic lobbying firms with better connections to the party that now controls the House, Senate and presidency. The news about these mergers demonstrates the fundamentally daunting task Obama faces in trying to enact changes in how the Capitol operates. Jeanne Cummings writes:

“Republican heads of business trade groups are bracing for pink slips, and some corporate offices are giving Democratic lobbyists promotions to co-chair their shops and help open more doors on Capitol Hill and in the new administration.

The repositioning highlights how little Washington is likely to change, despite all the anti-lobbyist rhetoric tossed around in the campaign.

The partisan titles might shift, but the tactics won’t. Access to people in powerful positions remains a valuable commodity, and Democrats are finding plenty of people willing to pay high prices for it.

BGR Group Chairman Ed Rogers, a former aide to President George H.W. Bush, didn’t hedge when asked about the reason for the deal with Westin Rinehart.

‘We wanted to build our strength with Democrats,’ he said. ‘It’s a matter of strategic positioning.’”