K Street veterans report a shocking new reality.Sucks to be America's #1 problem, doesn't it?
Top business officials accustomed to red-carpet treatment in the Bush White House say they must stand in line in the cold outside transition headquarters along with people they don't recognize, waiting to be cleared to meet with Obama staffers they don't know and who don't always appear to understand their issues. One veteran business official lamented that the only Obama official he has recognized so far is former Environmental Protection Agency Director Carol Browner — along with lobbying foes for labor and environmental organizations he has seen milling around or standing in the queue.
"We were part of the team" during the Bush transition, reminisced another top K Street player. "The business lobby was not pro-Obama," he acknowledged. "And for good reason, if you look at the campaign rhetoric."
"You get your five-minute elevator presentation," said one top industry lobbyist who said his meetings have been devoid of meaty discussion. "They say nothing. It's a pure note-taking exercise. Will they be able to say they reached out? Sure."I totally don't feel for you.
It's weird to see something very right happening.