You don’t do access lobbying? What do you call it when you meet with a lawmaker on the eve of a critical vote? Or when that ex-Schumer aide calls his old boss to talk about that SEC provision? That’s not to mention the more than $600,000 in contributions to candidates and PACs that Podesta has made, or the fundraisers he’s hosted.

The Times profile also checks another box, highlighting Podesta’s contemporary art collection.

Too bad it doesn’t mention that Podesta and his wife, Heather, another lobbyist in the firm who has her own lobbying firm, donated Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama portrait to the National Portrait Gallery. Now, this is how you win friends and influence people.

The story does, however, point out that Obama’s busy legislative agenda has been good for lobbyists like Podesta, despite the president’s tough talk about curbing their power.

Or maybe, it’s because of the president’s tough talk:

“The irony of it is that every time the president says we lobbyists have all this influence, people who don’t have a lobbyist want one,” Mr. Podesta said in an interview. “He exaggerates our power, but he increases demand for our services.”

Put Podesta down as confident that he can weather the criticism, and the new restrictions.

“Whatever they’re gonna do, they’ll do,” he said. “They can ban lobbyists from having drivers licenses. We’ll all get cars and drivers.”

Holly Yeager is CJR's Peterson Fellow, covering fiscal and economic policy. She is based in Washington and reachable at