Several Obama aides started making post-election plans well before November, holding discussions with executive search firms in Washington as early as this past spring. Their stock has risen since Obama’s victory, but they face a tough job market on K Street, where belt-tightening has become the norm.
Several headhunters for law and lobby firms said one thing that won’t work against the job seekers is Obama’s executive order on ethics, which bans former officials from lobbying the administration while he is in office.
“That hasn’t come up once,” Eric Vautour of Russell Reynolds Associates said of the ethics order. “They can still direct those activities. If you’re asking someone to go run a whole department, they can go ask someone to make a call. It’s not that big a deal. Clients recognize that as well.”
While some lobbyists said the lobbying ban could diminish administration officials’ value on K Street, others said it has not been a major factor in assessing recruits from the administration.
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