Wasn’t Barack Obama supposed to end Washington’s dirty “business as usual“?
Most donors, including Dr. Mohlenbrock and Mr. Kiani, declined to talk about their motivations for giving. But Patrick J. Kennedy, the former representative from Rhode Island, who donated $35,800 to an Obama re-election fund last fall while seeking administration support for a nonprofit venture, said contributions were simply a part of “how this business works.”
“If you want to call it ‘quid pro quo,’ fine,” he said. “At the end of the day, I want to make sure I do my part.”
Mr. Kennedy visited the White House several times to win support for One Mind for Research, his initiative to help develop new treatments for brain disorders. While his family name and connections are clearly influential, he said, he knows White House officials are busy. And as a former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he said he was keenly aware of the political realities they face.
“I know that they look at the reports,” he said, referring to records of campaign donations. “They’re my friends anyway, but it won’t hurt when I ask them for a favor if they don’t see me as a slouch.”
The entire New York Times story is interesting. Its essential takeaway is that Obama is running a pay-for-play White House despite his promises to keep lobbyists out and clean things up. “Drain the swamp” is how Nancy Pelosi phrased it. But all the Democrats have really done is make sure the swamp is under their management.
The Times account of all this is also conveniently run in April, when it would certainly matter more to the election if it ran in October.