PolitiFact, the political fact checking site run by the St. Petersburg Times, is keeping track of all 500+ of Barack Obama’s campaign promises.
Recently they had to pull back from one.
When we launched the Obameter a week ago, we said we would periodically revisit our rulings on President Obama’s campaign promises to see if an item needed to be updated. We figured that occasionally we’d even have to change a Promise Kept to a Compromise or a Promise Broken because of new information. That’s what we’re doing today.
Here’s the promise as documented by PolitiFact,
“No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration.”
He signed the order, for which I give him credit. Too long I’ve been concerned about the so-called revolving door where government employees leave to become lobbyist. But then he wants exceptions for a couple of appointees, most notable of which is William Lynn, appointed to be a deputy to the Secretary of Defense.
Puzzling is PoliFact’s moving the needle back to “Compromise.”
But we’ve since learned new information that is prompting us to keep a closer eye Promise No. 240 and move the needle to Compromise.
Now a compromise to me means, at least in politics,
something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different thing.
Usually that involves two parties, but the only one Obama compromised with was himself.
But the administration changed the rules to ease Lynn’s nomination on Friday.
Back to the PolitiFact assessment,
The executive order Obama signed includes a waiver clause. The executive order says a waiver may be granted if “the literal application of the restriction is inconsistent with the purposes of the restriction” or “it is in the public interest …. The public interest shall include, but not be limited to, exigent circumstances relating to national security or to the economy.”
Since there’s only one or two right now,
Since there’s only talk of one or two waivers now, we’re going to drop the Obameter rating a notch to Compromise. But we’ll be keeping a close eye to see if Obama seeks many waivers and we might have to revisit our rating.
Why was the waiver necessary? Secretary Robert Gates
requested Lynn as his deputy and did not want Lynn to have to recuse himself outright from all decisions involving Raytheon because it would severely limit his ability to do his job.
It looks pretty bad when you have an exception so soon after making an executive order that drew so much praise from watchdog groups.