John L. White, a former Clinton official charged with overseeing the new Defense Department, is a partner in a firm that invests in defense contractors. Michael Warren, charged with overseeing Treasury, is chief operating officer of a firm that lobbies for clients including the U.S.-India Business Council.
Several of the officials have ties to Fannie Mae, the government-backed mortgage firm whose implosion this fall contributed to the financial meltdown. Thomas Donilon, overseeing the State Department, is a partner in the law and lobbying firm O’Melveny and Myers who until three years ago lobbied for Fannie Mae. Wendy R. Sherman, the other official charged with reviewing the State Department, once headed Fannie Mae’s charitable foundation.
The vast majority involved are second-tier officials of the Clinton administration, eager to help another Democrat take control of the White House. With the exception of a few academics, almost all of them spent the intervening years in the private sector, usually capitalizing on the connections and expertise they developed in the Clinton years.
Maybe this is why the Framers preferred a simple solution: strict and severe constitutional limits on the power of government.