Looking to beef up its political and constituency operations, President Obama recently tapped ex-lobbyist and former John Kerry presidential campaign senior adviser Broderick Johnson as a senior advisor to his reelection campaign.
Johnson is well known within K Street and Capitol Hill circles as, first, an attorney in the House of Representatives and then over a decade of lobbying experience off Hill. He’s served as a government relations attorney at various DC law firms, including Wiley, Rein & Fielding, the Oliver Group, and Bryan Cave LLP and has also held senior roles in the Clinton White House.
“Broderick joins the campaign with the insight of many years of experience in public service and on campaigns, including the 2008 campaign. Broderick will be an invaluable advisor to the campaign as well as our representative at key events around the country,” said campaign manager Jim Messina in a recent statement.
“I accept this opportunity to join the senior staff of the Obama-Biden 2012 campaign with great pride and a strong sense of duty,” said Johnson. “We must reelect the President in order to build an economy that rewards hard work and restores economic security for the middle class and that provide an opportunity to families working hard to rise above poverty. Our success depends upon ensuring that our economy is built to last, where we out educate and out innovate the world.”
He also has an understanding of the business and corporation community. During his years in private practice, Johnson lobbied on behalf of media companies BellSouth Corp, Comcast, Time Warner, Verison and AT&T; bankers Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, technology companies Microsoft and other companies.
The Center for Responsive Politics also notes that Johnson is ” … a political heavy weight in his own right — donating tens of thousands of dollars, mainly to Democratic causes.”
“During the 2008 election cycle, Johnson donated $53,850 to federal candidates and committees, with 91 percent of that money aiding Democrats,” reports CRP. “During the 2010 election cycle, he donated $81,000 — all to Democrats. And so far this year, he has donated $19,000 to Democrats and $900 to the PAC of his former employer Bryan Cave LLP.
Johnson’s wife Michelle Norris recently announced that she is stepping down from her host duties on NPR’s All Things Considered while her husband works for the campaign to alleviate any appearance of taint and bias, perhaps as part of NPR’s policy.
Last year, NPR caught a lot of heat for firing Juan Williams after saying on air at as a Fox News commentator that he fears Muslims that board a plane he is in. The media outlet, which receives partial funding from the federal government’s Corporation for Public Broadcasting, was criticized as being a front to liberal media.
Johnson is expected to be an asset to the Obama team given that during his 25-years in Washington, he served with key leaders in influential House and Senate committees.