White House Visitors Logs Show Boldface Names, Clout-Wielding D.C. Players

By MichaelJames

Oct 31, 2009 9:16am

The White House visitors' logs released Friday afternoon represent just those names about whom inquiries had been made at Whitehouse.gov.

Within the narrow construct of those 481 names released, one can catch glimpses of the world of celebrity — George Clooney! Oprah! Denzel! Brad Pitt! Serena Williams! — and also weigh the clout of various movers and shakers in D.C.

The big winner in the latter group: labor leader Andy Stern of the Service Employees International Union, who visited the White House 19 times. Five of those visits were with President Obama.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka visited seven times. Power-lobbyists Tony and Heather Podesta visited four times and three times, respectively, according to the records. Center for American Progress president John Podesta, who headed the Obama transition, visited at least 12 times. Other frequent visitors included former National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

Other names on the list: the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.

Wall Street players have had a lot of interest in Mr. Obama's doings, and visitors have included JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon, Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs' Gary Cohn, Citigroup's Vikram Pandit, and the former chief executive of AIG, Maurice Greenberg. Edward Yingling of the American Bankers Association, Scott Talbott of the Financial Services Roundtable, and Timothy Ryan of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association also visited.

So have George Soros, Bill Gates, Alan Greenspan, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Exxon Mobil's Rex Tillerson, Chevron's David O’Reilly, and General Electric's Jeffrey Immelt, who sits on the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Former Vice President Al Gore has visited four times, though the logs do not indicate that he visited with President Obama.

-jpt

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