How Friends of Obama Make Millions Selling Influence After Leaving the White House

White_House_DC CC

The Obama lottery ticket, there are a whole bunch of people in Downtown Washington DC walking around with them in their pocket.

It works like this- Work in the White House for a few years. Cozy up with the president and David Axelrod (who has just recently cashed in himself at NBC). Found a consultancy. Then wait for the corporate clients to send you checks. It is nearly that simple as Noam Scheiber explains in his great article in The New Republic, Get rich or Deny Trying, How to make Millions Off of Obama.

There has been a steady parade of Obama White House folks straight into the influence peddling business. As Scheiber says, the selling of the Lincoln bedroom during the Clinton years almost seems “quaint” in comparison. Everyone is on the take, and the taking is good.

There are rules however. One must show some tact in ones new roll. No one is allowed to work for the evil companies, tobacco, firearms, oil, etc. That’s a no-no. But beyond that, there are plenty of “progressive” ways to shake the corporate money tree.  One is entirely free to take as much money as possible from Hollywood for instance.

The Obama “stimulus” despite it’s broad failure for the country is narrowly working for a select group of folks in Washington. There are new millionaires being minted up and down K Street. Crony capitalism remains a growth sector.

(From The New Republic)

It was the sort of success that cuts to the heart of Obama’s vision of government—activist but not heavy-handed. “I want every American looking for work to have the same opportunity as Jackie did,” he elaborated. “Join me in a national commitment to train two million Americans.”

It was also P.R. gold for Siemens, the kind of product placement you couldn’t buy if you wanted to. But you can certainly increase your odds. As it happens, Siemens had recently signed up Camille Johnston, the first lady’s former communications director, to be its vice president of corporate affairs. For almost two years, few people had a better chance to size up the Obamas, and Johnston put her insights to use prepping her boss at Siemens for a White House meeting. “It was the first foreign company [Obama] mentioned in a State of the Union as far as I could tell,” says a former administration official. “It’s not like it happens by accident.”