“Failed to shut” kind of implies that the president simply forgot to shut it. Like, “Whoops, Michelle I forgot to lock the gate. Now all the lobbyists are coming in. Oh no!”
“Barrack how many times have I told you not to leave the gate open! Now we’re gonna have to give them cabinet appointments. Just get Valarie to deal with them.”
But it wasn’t forgotten. The gate was left open on purpose. Obama is a political animal, like everyone who is in or wants to be in the White House. He said what he said, that he’d keep lobbyists out of the White House, because it sounded good on the campaign trail. There is no way Obama was going to execute his brand of “governance” without plenty of Washington insider help. His is a Democratic machine type of politics. It is insider oriented by its very nature. Chicago on the Potomac. That is a lobbyist friendly environment if there ever was one.
His executive order doesn’t reach the vast majority of the 2.6 million federal employees, even senior ones in the regulatory sphere. It only applies to political appointees. As a result, many key officials can move freely in and out of the revolving door.
A case in point: After serving as acting CEO and vice president of global government and scientific affairs for the dietary supplement industry trade group — the Natural Products Association — scientist Daniel Fabricant landed a job in 2011 as director of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs at the Food and Drug Administration. In 2014, he emerged from the agency and returned to the trade group as its CEO and executive director.
Fabricant’s acting replacement at the FDA, Cara Welch, followed a nearly identical path. She arrived from the same trade group to serve as Fabricant’s deputy at FDA shortly before he left.