Notwithstanding his pledge to wipe out the influence of lobbyists, Republican White House hopeful John McCain has tapped a prominent lobbyist to conduct a study in preparation for the presidential transition should he win the election, according to a media report.
William E Timmons Sr who has worked in the Nixon and Ford administrations as an aide for congressional relations and assisted the transition teams of both Ronald Reagan and George W Bush, has been roped in to work for several issues that have become flash points in the presidential campaign, the Time magazine reported.
By tapping Timmons, the magazine said, McCain has turned to one of Washington's steadiest and most senior inside players to guide him in the event of a victory but also to someone who represents the antithesis of the kind of outside-of-Washington change he has recently been promising.
"The decision to involve Timmons can become a political liability for the campaign's reformist image, especially in the wake of the controversies over the lobbying backgrounds of other McCain staffers, including campaign manager Rick Davis," a Republican quoted as saying.
"It's one more blind spot for Rick Davis and John McCain," he said.
Timmons, who has also worked as a senior adviser to both Vice President George Bush in 1988 and Senator Bob Dole in 1996, is the chairman emeritus of Timmons and Company, an influential lobbying firm he founded in 1975, the report said.