OBAMA ON THE BACKROOM DEALS – “I didn't make a bunch of deals."
Nancy-Ann DeParle, Ezekiel Emanuel and Peter Orzag did. DeParle called big pharma "our industry" in an Ezra Klein interview. While describing the deal, Nancy-Ann's slip flew over Klein's head.
I spent the weekend pouring through White House visitor lists for a well known progressive blogger. They'd seen my analysis of Nancy-Ann's visitors and asked for help.
I combed through Ezekial Emanuel's and Peter Orzag's guests. Who knew U2's Bono hung out with Peter? Chip Kahn's visit to Ezekial helps explain the Senate's renaming nonprofit community hospitals as private tax exempt facilities? Chip is chief lobbyist for the Federation of American Hospitals, the for-profit hospital trade group.
I found more than one occasion of taint. As the lists are not complete, I wonder who got scrubbed, Uwe Reinhardt, Denny Shelton (later channeled by Rahm Emanuel and Peter Orzag), Karen Bechtel or any other For-Profiteer? Did anyone from CCMP Capital Advisers or another private equity underwriter (PEU) drop by to say hi and not get recorded? PEU's populated President Obama's and Larry Summer's guest list.
President Obama tried to recover from failing his campaign promise of openness, but releasing scrubbed visitor lists is not televising negotiations on CSPAN. Obama's a good salesman, but not that good.