The Contemporary Presidency: Changing the Way Washington Works? Assessing President Obama's Battle with Lobbyists


James A. Thurber is a Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, American University.


This article explores the causes, characteristics, and consequences of President Obama's attacks on lobbyists and his attempt to change the way the influence industry works in Washington. It concludes with a discussion of the barriers President Obama has faced in reforming pluralist democracy in Washington and an assessment of his successes and failures in his first two years in office.