President Obama compromising on ethics reform already?

According to the Obameter, President Obama has already failed to fully live up to at least one of his campaign promises, specifically that

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 an Executive Order this past Wednesday, on his first day in office, that upheld this promise. It turns out, however, that said EO has a waiver clause . Waivers 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.”

I’m sorry, but when would the literal application of this restriction be inconsistent with the purpose of the restriction? Isn’t the purpose of this restriction to prevent people from benefiting either from their lobbying work of the previous two years, or their government work during Obama’s term? So when would banning, say… a former lobbyist for DoD contractor Raytheon… from becoming the Deputy Secretary of Defense be inconsistent with the stated purpose? Is he not about to benefit from his previous work? Assuming he leaves his D-SecDef job and goes back to Raytheon in two more years, would he not be benefiting from his employment with the government?


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