Top Democratic donors received VIP access to the White House during President Obama's first six months in office, according to a Washington Times investigation. Some particularly prolific financial backers have received ambassadorships. Do Obama's supporters get special perks, or does every White House do this? (Watch Robert Gibbs defend Democratic perks at a press briefing)
Every White House does this: "The White House has always been for sale to the highest bidders," says Earl Ofari Hutchinson in American Chronicle. Everyone knows President Obama's predecessor "nakedly waved the White House for sale sign to corporate cronies." It's distasteful, but the reality is that "politics is a hard, dirty, cash soaked game, and those with the most cash will always have the president´s ear, no matter the president."
"Obama´s White House is for sale just like all the others"
This is "influence peddling": Sure, Clinton did it, and Bush did it, says Michelle Malkin in RealClearPolitics. But during the campaign Obama called rewarding donors with "lavish receptions, golf outings, bowling dates, and movie nights" at the White House what it really is -- influence peddling. Just goes to show, "it's business as usual in the era of Hope and Change."
"The Obama White House: Bundlers' paradise"
All presidents promise to end donor perks: "It's a requirement that any candidate for the presidency vow to banish the wicked special interests in Washington, D.C.," says Jacob Heilbrunn in The Huffington Post. And it's a ritual for the media to pounce and show that the new president "is slipping into nefarious old Washington practices." Now poor White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has to offer "contorted defenses," instead of just telling the truth: "handing out a few perks to donors is really no big deal."
"In defense of Obama's bowling for dollars"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- These real-life Rosie the Riveters changed the face of labor
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- The next pandemic
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
Subscribe to the Week