Hillary Clinton Campaign Hires Keystone XL Lobbyist

From the Huffington Post:

The newest hire for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is a longtime strategist who played a key role in her 2008 primary defeat while working for then-Sen. Barack Obama.

He’s also a Washington lobbyist who lobbied the State Department — led, at the time, by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — on behalf of the company seeking to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Clinton’s new consultant, Jeff Berman, has followed, in many respects, a well-worn path for those in Washington D.C. He spent a large chunk of his career in the public sector before a stint on K Street, and now he’s back again. When Clinton hired Berman for his current role, it was seen as something of a coup, because he’s known as a master of the mechanics of the primary process. Buzzfeed, which broke the news of Berman’s hiring on Wednesday, described him as “a bit of a living legend in the small world that can speak fluently” about the strategic minutiae involved in winning an election.

Certainly anyone who was paying attention during the 2008 election knows what a better grasp the Obama campaign had on the process than the Clinton camp — which was due in large part to Berman’s expertise.

But his hiring doesn’t come baggage-free. After Berman left the Obama campaign, he joined the firm Bryan Cave, where he lobbied on behalf of several big-name clients. The most controversial of those clients was TransCanada, the multibillion-dollar company seeking a permit to complete the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport Alberta’s oil sands to refineries in Texas.

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