President Barack Obama famously ran to inspire young Americans with his message of “hope and change,” but the president’s administration has been infamous for rewarding cronies (see: Solyndra) and punishing enemies (see: IRS). The New York Times asserts this has inspired young people to become consultants and game politics in order to join the permanent political class.
In a story profiling one of the few former Obama administration aides who is actually running for office, the Times notes how rare a story like Eric Lesser’s is in the age of Obama.
“For all the talk about the movement that elected Mr. Obama, the more notable movement of Obama supporters has been away from politics,” the Times writes. “It appears that few of the young people who voted for him, and even fewer Obama campaign and administration operatives, have decided to run for office. Far more have joined the high-paid consultant ranks.”
The Times notes that “unlike John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, who inspired virtual legislatures of politicians and became generational touchstones,” Obama has so “far had little such influence,” which is “all the more remarkable considering he came to office tapping into the spirit of volunteerism and community service that pollsters say is widespread and intense among young people.”
Recent polls conducted by Harvard have found young people souring from Obama, and though “70 percent said they considered community service an honorable endeavor, only 35 percent said the same about running for office.”
Lesser said his friends from the White House “are posting pictures on Facebook of zooming around Davos,” and some have even called him “lame” for going back home to attend law school and running for office instead of peddling influence and access to Boomtown’s wealth the way they are.
Obama told young Americans to “be the change” and, “we are the ones we have been waiting for,” but his top advisers like Jim Messina, Jon Favreau, and numerous Obamacare advisers have all started lucrative consulting businesses to use their time in the White House to cash out and entrench themselves further in the Boomtown’s permanent political class.