How does President Joe Biden, with pride, call oppressive gasoline prices “an incredible transition?” The same way his millionaire energy secretary tells hard-pressed Americans to solve their financial problems by buying a $60,000 electric car.
This White House is inhabited by revolving door careerists who got rich through decades of moving into a plum federal job, then out to a law firm/PR/lobbyist/consultant––and then back in again to burnish the resume. It’s called losing touch with middle America and everyday hardships.
Former President Donald Trump called Washington “The Swamp.” I call it a financial fantasyland unprecedented in American annals. There is no U.S. destination––not Wall Street, not Silicon Valley––where you can easily broker government work into a fortune, almost in an instant. You don’t need a revolutionary tech idea or financial skills or the next great assembling line. You just need to know how to manipulate the federal complex you just exited.
Let’s look at Ron Klain. As Mr. Biden’s chief of staff, he oversees all the ideas and policies emerging from the White House’s various woke factory workers who prefer windmills to life-giving fossil fuels, illegal immigrants to American citizens and “birthing people” to mothers.
At 60, he has spent over 30 years traveling through the Washington revolving door, building a net worth of up to $12 million. He has shifted from Capitol Hill to Justice Department to the White House to a lobbyist law firm to venture capitalist to the Obama White House to the Biden campaign to the White House. Like his boss, Mr. Klain’s entire professional life is “The Swamp.”
When Mr. Biden began his presidency in a celebratory spree of throttling our energy sector, driving up the price of a barrel of oil and sparking inflation, what do you think the thinking was at the White House?
Was it middle America and its financial well-being? I doubt it. I think the dominant thought was pleasing the climate-change oligarchs who flood the left-wing and Democrats with cash.
“If you drive an electric car, this would not be affecting you,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm scolded at a May 2021 White House press briefing as gas prices started their journey upward in only Mr. Biden’s fourth month.
In May, Ms. Granholm exercised stock options for Proterra, an EV bus manufacturer where she served as a director. Her profit: $1.6 million. Forbes pegs her and her husband’s fortune at $8 million.
EV batteries are recharged with electricity generated mostly from fossil fuels. There would be no EV industry without fossil fuels.
Brian Deese is director of the White House National Economic Council and is the chief spokesman for imposing Mr. Biden’s “Liberal World Order” on Americans. He is also chief spokesman for the tyrannical “eliminate fossil fuel” movement––pure folly unless you want existence of sedentary darkness, hunger and misery. (The U.S life expectancy in 1900 was 45. After a century of fossil-fueled advancement, it was 75.)
Mr. Deese worked on Democratic campaigns and held various jobs in the Obama administration. He came back through the revolving door from BlackRock, where he was global head of “sustainable investing” and earned over $2 million, his financial disclosure form says.
Jen Psaki, the Biden press secretary who is taking her message to MSNBC, is another full-time D.C. habitué. An NBC salary was not announced. Publicans have estimated her net worth at $2 million.
After graduating from college in 2000, she landed on various Democratic campaigns culminating in traveling as press secretary for President Barack Obama. By 2009, she was in the White House as deputy communications director, according to a resume by OpenSecrets.org.
Then out the revolving door as a senior vice president at Global Strategy Group, then back inside for the Obama reelection, then State Department, and White House before going back outside as a principal at WestExec Advisors, the Biden satellite operation.
WestExec embodies how the town works. It is the brainchild of former Pentagon policymaker Michele Flournoy and Antony Blinken, who you may know as our secretary of state. They named it after the closed road that splits the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the White House.
Hint. Hint. “We have access.” And, “We’ll get back in.”
Its ex-government principals are revolving-door travelers. Former CIA Director John Brennan, who told us the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian goop, resides at WestExec.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, 75, is not strictly a revolving door traveler. She held several Federal Reserve posts before Mr. Obama named her Fed chair. She left in 2018 and that’s when the revolving-door-type cash arrived. She amassed over $7 million in 2019-20 giving talks, most to financial institutions. A speech to the Hong Kong Development Council earned her $270,000. Citi Bank paid her $500,000 for three speeches, according to her financial disclosure form.
Speeches are Washington D.C.’s “Moon River” to instant riches.
Ms. Yellen’s fellow cabinet member, Secretary of State Blinken, did ride the revolving door.
For two decades, he strategically moved from government to lucrative D.C. employment and then back again. He was a Senate staff director, then Vice President Biden’s national security adviser, then deputy secretary of state before jumping off to create WestExec Advisors while a partner at Pine Island Capital Advisors.
Forbes places his net worth at $10 million, with this headline, “Between roles in the Obama and Biden administrations, Antony Blinken co-founded a D.C. advisory business––and made a small fortune.”
Did the Trump White House play host to “swamp” creatures? Sure. But he never lost sight of Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables.” HIs 2020 election antics were wacky. But before that, his overall policymaking focused on hard-working America. The country became energy self-sufficient for the first time in 50 years. A secure border. Low inflation. He nailed the ISIS leader and Iran’s terror master. And he began making real Middle East peace between Arabs and Jews by not placating those who want Israel gone.
He never would have taken the track of Mr. Biden and company. They deliberately are punishing the average guy, spiking gasoline and inflation, and letting the drug cartels run the border in a cynical ploy for more Democratic voters.
And they are doing it all from the insular comforts of Washington.
• Rowan Scarborough is a columnist with The Washington Times.