Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who now runs the group Citizens for Responsibility and ethics in Washington, had praise for MacBride but told the Washington Post the problem was "whether Obama is being consistent." The Obama administration "wanted the American people to think they weren't going to hire any lobbyists, and that was never realistic."
A brush with the spotlight in 2005 made Raphel a minor hero of the antiwar left, when sharply critical comments she made to a government historian about U.S. efforts in Iraq were unearthed and made public.
"What one needs to understand is that these decisions were ideologically based," Raphel said in the 2004 interview, discussing miscues and bungles in the U.S. effort to build a new Iraqi civil society in the wake of its military invasion. "They were not based on an analytical, historical understanding. They were based on ideology."
"Oh, yes, there were political people round and about," she said in the interview. "One had to be careful."