Tom Manatos: Washington’s Political Santa

Post-Election Day stories dominating the news center around politics, not people, as questions like “will the Republicans govern effectively or will there be more gridlock?” “what does this mean for President Obama’s final two years?” and “how will this affect the presidential race in 2016?” abound.  But few people stop and think that, for losing candidates and their staffs, Election Day also means: “you’re fired.”

To be sure, those staff members who need to pack their bags are all too aware of it, and for many, their first step is to reach out, very quickly, to Tom Manatos.

Manatos’ emergence in our nation’s capital as the keeper of arguably the most valuable list of prospective employers on Capitol Hill was important enough to merit front-page coverage of the Greek-American in November 18th’s Washington Post.

Born into an influential political family – his father, Andy and brother Mike are President and Vice President of Manatos & Manatos, a prestigious DC lobbying firm – Manatos, previously House Democrat liaison on behalf of Nancy Pelosi (formerly House Speaker and current House Minority Leader) has parlayed his list of prospective employers into a website, tommanatosjobs.com, which the Post reports contains a 20,000 person mailing list: “He’s DC’s Craig and his Christmas comes in November.”

But as one door – to a Congressional seat – closes, another opens, and Manatos is quickly becoming the definitive go-to person for helping displaced political aides find a new job. “Are you ‘the’ Tom Manatos?” many, eager to obtain his help ask him when they approach, reports the Post.

As tremendous a service as Manatos provides, and one in very high demand to say the least, his political headhunting is just a fun hobby he does on the side. By day, Manatos is Director of Government Affairs for the Internet Association, which involves a good amount of lobbying. Not surprisingly, “I love lobbying,” Manatos tells the post.

His sincere commitment to the good that lobbying can accomplish prompted the post to comment: “Manatos somehow doesn’t sound repugnant when delivering this ode to lobbying.”

The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. In March, Andy Manatos proudly defended the lobbying profession, emphasizing that if done well, it can accomplish many great benefits not – as many perceive – to the privileged few, but to the powerless who need help the most (“Manatos Proudly Defends Profession of Lobbying,” Mar. 15).

For many who hoped for a bright future in politics, only to be disappointed as their bosses lost the last election, Christmas may come early this year. And it’s not Santa’s list they need to be on – it’s Manatos’ list.


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