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Cronyism as Usual

For an update on how all that “hope and change” is going, let’s check in with LightSquared financial backer Phil Falcone, who’s currently under scrutiny for his company’s too-close-for-comfort relationship with the White House:

Falcone characterized email communication between LightSquared employees and White House staff — which mentioned political fundraisers while trying to coordinate a meeting — as business as usual. The emails were first reported by the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News.

“How LightSquared operated, and how LightSquared will continue to operate, is no different than what everybody else does,” Falcone said. “It’s completely appropriate and was within the guidelines of how business is conducted.”

So now Obama’s supporters are just settling for the argument that LightSquared’s alleged political pull with the White House is “no different than what everybody else does.” That’s some slide from Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to demolish the influence game in Washington.

It’s not news Obama  has broken yet another campaign vow. But the one thing the president had going for him, even with the economic doldrums, was his administration kept its nose fairly clean. He might be viewed as incompetent, or lacking in leadership, but he isn’t seen as corrupt. Solyndra and LightSquared may soon give the White House completely new image problems to worry about.


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