The Slatest

Obama Spokesman Who Promised to Confront Corporate Interests Is Now McDonald’s Spokesman

Robert Gibbs in 2011 at his last appearance as White House press secretary.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty

Perhaps no Barack Obama campaign promise has been so resolutely broken by his administration than his oft-repeated 2008 vow to reduce the influence of corporate lobbying in government. To understand the magnitude of Obama’s betrayal of its campaign rhetoric on that topic, you can read extensive documentation here and here of the many connections between the White House and the world of big-money lobbying. Or you can just consider 2008 campaign spokesman and 2009-2011 White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’ new job (press release edited slightly for clarity):


McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) today announced the appointment of Robert Gibbs as Executive Vice President, Global Chief Communications Officer. In his new role, Gibbs will lead McDonald’s corporate relations group, which manages internal and external communications and government and public affairs. He will lead McDonald’s in communicating clear, coordinated messages to internal and external constituencies, enhancing the brand and supporting corporate strategies.


(Bolding mine.)

“What we need is somebody who will take charge of Washington, kick the lobbyists and the special interests out,” Gibbs said during a September 7, 2008 CNN appearance.

“We have watched the crony capitalism and the lobbyists take hold on Wall Street and in Washington,” he complained on the same channel 10 days later.

Is there any crony capitalist who is more of a “crony” than a longtime top aide of the president? And is there any corporation more corporate than McDonald’s? It could hardly be more perfect.

Wait! In Robert Gibbs’ defense, his new job won’t be based out of Washington D.C. It’ll be based at McDonald’s corporate headquarters, which is in…oh.