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Commentary: Obama breaks his own rule

  • Story Highlights
  • Brown: Obama promises transparency, openness, new rules on lobbying
  • But Obama wants former lobbyist to be deputy defense secretary
  • To do that, he's willing to make an exception to his rules, she says
  • Brown says that just reinforces people's cynicism
  • Next Article in Politics »

Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Friday night's broadcast.

CNN's Campbell Brown is disappointed by Obama's moves to make William Lynn deputy defense secretary.

CNN's Campbell Brown is disappointed by Obama's moves to make William Lynn deputy defense secretary.

(CNN) -- Just a couple of nights ago, we heaped praise on the new president for announcing what he called a new era of openness, where in his administration, transparency would rule the day.

And the lobbyists that he was so critical of during the campaign? Well, he told us they will now face even tougher new restrictions.

President Obama: "The executive order on ethics I will sign shortly represents a clean break from business as usual. As of today, lobbyists will be subject to stricter limits than under any other administration in history. If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied during the previous two years. When you leave government, you will not be able to lobby my administration for as long as I am president."

That's what he said two days ago. But as we first told you Thursday, and sadly we are learning more about this Friday, President Obama already wants an exception to his own rule.

You see, what happened is, there is this former lobbyist for a big defense contractor called Raytheon. His name is William Lynn.

President Obama wants him to be deputy defense secretary. So, the Obama administration wants a waiver to its own rule.

That basically means they are saying, we will mostly put tough new restrictions on lobbyists, except when we won't.

Really? Is this how it is going to be?

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Please, please don't make us all any more cynical than we already are, Mr. President.

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If you have no intention of abiding by your new rules, then don't make new rules. That would be "actual" transparency.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Campbell Brown.

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