[In a new ad] titled “Listening,” Obama says he is “in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over.”
He goes on to claim “I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists–and I have won.” — The Baltimore Sun‘s blog, The Swamp.
Uh huh. Yeah, right. Here’s a reality check: “ABC News reports that an ad the Obama campaign released yesterday on lobbying reform excised a quote in which ‘Obama promised to ban lobbyists from working in his White House — a pledge the Illinois Democrat seemed to have backed off from earlier this month’.” (TPM) Also check out, “ABC News: Obama Ad Omits Lobbyist Reference.” Then there’s the just-posted report from the NYT‘s The Caucus that a month after Obama promised there’d be NO lobbyists in his White House, “he later amended his position, saying that lobbyists would not ‘dominate’ his White House.”
History Can Be a Bitch: “Barack Obama may be talking the talk on the campaign trail as he attacks special interests and lobbyists in Washington,” noted ABC News’s The Blotter in July, “but last year Senator Obama introduced bills-at the request of lobbyists-that would save foreign companies millions in customs fees and duties.”
Then There’s Reality, Again, Chomping Up Those Fine Words: There are “Lobbyists on Obama’s ’08 payroll,” reports The Hill. “Three political aides on Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) payroll were registered lobbyists for dozens of corporations, including Wal-Mart, British Petroleum and Lockheed Martin, while they received payments from his campaign, according to public documents.” That’s right. Obama has paid lobbyists who are “double dipping” while his campaign tries to deny it.
No wonder Obama excised his remarks from a speech used in the new TV ads:
A new television ad released Friday by the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., uses excerpts from a well-received November speech by the candidate in which he attacked corporate lobbyists.
But the campaign notably excised from the excerpt one mid-sentence clause in which Obama promised to ban lobbyists from working in his White House — a pledge the Illinois Democrat seemed to have backed off from earlier this month.
The ommission, first reported by ABC News Saturday morning, provided an opportunity for Obama’s rival, former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., to make that very pledge to ban lobbyists from working in his White House on Saturday afternoon.
The Obama campaign insisted the cut was made purely for time, and not because the senator had been called out on over-reaching rhetoric.
“It was a 30-minute speech and a 60-second ad, so of course we had to make cuts,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said. “Sen. Obama has the strongest record and the furthest reaching proposals when it comes to curbing the influence of special interests and lobbyists of any candidate in this race.”
By making that cut, however, the Obama campaign, in the last week before the crucial Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, risks focusing attention on an issue that can be used to portray the senator as just another politician.
After the ommission was reported on ABCNews.com, Edwards pounced. Sensing an opportunity to differentiate himself from Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and in particular from Obama, with whom he is competing for Iowa caucus-goers, Edwards called a press conference in which he made the pledge Obama seemed to have backed away from. … Read all at ABC News.
John Edwards is having too much fun with this. See also the new post at the NYT blog.
Edwards’ fun aside, Obama and Axelrod are doing a lot of explainin’.