Then there is the lobbyist for a military contractor who is now slated to become the No. 2 official in the Pentagon. And there are the others brought into government from the influence industry even if not formally registered as lobbyists.
President Barack Obama said Monday that he was "absolutely" standing behind former Senator Tom Daschle, his nominee for health and human services secretary, and Daschle, who met late in the day with leading senators in an effort to keep his confirmation on track, said he had "no excuse" and wanted to "deeply apologize" for his failure to pay $128,000 in U.S. taxes.
Do you think these things are acceptable compromises one must make when transitioning from the lofty rhetoric of the campaign trail to the harsh realities of Washington D.C.? Or do these examples represent the tip of the iceberg labelled "just another lying politician?" What's your take on it?
Several Democrats, including some who have advised Obama, said privately that he had only himself to blame for laying out such an uncompromising standard as a candidate without recognizing how it would complicate his ability to assemble an administration.
In the campaign, Obama assailed Washington's "entire culture" in which "our leaders have thrown open the doors of Congress and the White House to an army of Washington lobbyists who have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play." He vowed to "close the revolving door" and "clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue" with "the most sweeping ethics reform in history."
Do you agree that perhaps Obama went overboard during the campaign in describing how he would work Washington? Do you think there could have been a type of naiveté which is only now becoming apparent, even to him?
Does anyone think there was a more sinister coldness to his promises, that even at the time he knew he'd have to compromise but felt he'd get away with it?
My idea is that regardless of what may have been in his head a month or two ago, he's faced with some difficult situations now which in some cases will require compromise. I don't see any evidence so far that these unavoidable situations will detract much from the overall good he'll accomplish as president.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.