Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama Gets Irritated at Press...Again. Refuses to Answer Questions Over Inconsistent Lobbyist Rules

Politico's Jonathan Martin asked a simple question and wanted a simple answer.

President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question.

Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a Deputy Defense Secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.

"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye.

The President continues to believe he owns the media. We wanted to offer some advice, Mr. President. You don't. Will all due respect, sir, not everyone in the country is in love with you. There will be tough questions. Get used to it.

As far as Lynn, we told you so. Politico reports on exactly the same kind of BS Waiver loophole in the "Ethics" Order we reported this week.

The committee will await the administration’s assessment as to whether the new rules will preclude Mr. Lynn, who was a registered lobbyist for a defense contractor, from participating in key Department of Defense decisions, and if so, whether a waiver will be forthcoming and what the scope of the waiver will be,” Levin said.

At the White House, press secretary Robert Gibbs was quick to rally around Lynn. And at the Pentagon, Gates said that he personally wanted Lynn as his top deputy, despite possible conflicts of interest.

“I asked that an exception be made, because I felt that he could play the role of the deputy in a better manner than anybody else that I saw,” Gates told reporters at news conference.

Is this the change? The Administration is going to say one thing and do another?

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