The changing nature of politics has reshaped lobbying, not necessarily for the worse. Top dogs in Washington’s influence industry are losing ground to a new breed.
The strategic adviser with clean hands, who stands aloof from the grunt work of cornering members of the House and Senate in Capitol hallways and the hassle of remembering committee secretaries by name, is now ascendant. Never mind those nightly fund-raisers.
If you look at the numbers, it may seem that lobbying is in decline, but it isn’t; it’s just taking different forms. What was once straightforward lobbying has become, in effect, a full service PR-advertising-social media operation, very little of which is covered by federal regulation.