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2013 White House / White House: Office of the Vice President

Steve Ricchetti, Counselor

photo of Beth Reinhard
July 16, 2013

Ricchetti, counselor to Biden, is among several Clinton administration veterans working in the White House. Under President Clinton, he served as deputy chief of staff and deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs. But it was his decadelong stint as the head of a lobbying firm that generated the most attention when Biden brought him in last year. His clients included the American Hospital Association, AT&T, General Motors, and Siemens, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Although Obama made curbing the influence of lobbyists on the White House a central theme of his 2008 campaign, Ricchetti was exempted from the policy because he had not officially registered as a lobbyist since the election. His brother, Jeff Ricchetti, was registered to do the actual lobbying for their firm, Ricchetti Inc., according to The Washington Post. "Steve Ricchetti has not acted as a lobbyist within the past two years, so he does not need a waiver," Biden's office said in a statement at the time. "Since 2008, Steve advised clients on public policy, communications strategy, and grassroots efforts but did not act as a lobbyist with the federal government on behalf of any client." The distinction was lost on the Republican National Committee, which dug up a press release from the Obama campaign criticizing his role as a major fundraiser for then-rival Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ricchetti, 55, grew up in Cleveland. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and George Mason University School of Law.

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