"Restoring trust in government is a prerequisite to enacting good policy and the tough choices the country needs. This ethics policy for the transition is a far-reaching, bold and constructive step to do just that. The policy may exclude some good people with deep experience in their fields, but it will also exclude those who see government service as a springboard to financial success, or who are more intent on pleasing future potential employers or clients than making tough choices in the public interest. As much as anything, this ethics policy is a statement about the tone and tenor of the Obama administration. It is a good sign."During the Q&A session, Podesta addressed several other questions. He denied that President George Bush and President-elect Obama discussed a quid pro quo for a stimulus package and the Colombian Free trade agreement. Podesta confirmed he and current chief of staff John Bolton also met. They had parallel discussions to their bosses, and he said it was a productive session. This is a role reversal to 2000 when Bolton was deputy chief of staff for Bush and Podesta the chief of staff for outgoing-President Bill Clinton. Podesta also signaled Obama wants a stimulus package as soon as possible, pushing Bush to cooperate with Congress. If Bush hesitates, Obama will make it his first action as a new president.
The strict rules may offer guidance for lobbyists on K Street in Washington -- Obama plans to bring change to Washington, D.C. He couldn't have sent a stronger signal. Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute said of the rules: