As I’ve said repeatedly, I’m not a political strategist (like you need anyone to tell you that), and I don’t really care to get into political strategy. That said, I watched Howard Dean on the Daily Show last night and was shocked to see that he didn’t bring up the most important piece of news in the past week or so — that the number of registered lobbyists in Washington DC has doubled since George W Bush became President. Everybody who’s been paying attention already knows that these guys have been running the country on a cash and carry basis, but not enough people were paying attention to boot these guys in 2004. Somehow Republicans convince people that they aren’t mired in the “inside the Beltway” thinking that hampers Democrats. Here’s indisputable proof to the contrary. Is anybody going to run with it?

Update: Worth noting is that Noah mentions in the piece that the number of lobbyists previously doubled between 1996 and 2000, pegging that time frame to Bill Clinton’s second term. But I think the more important date is the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 1994. Since 1996, the number of registered lobbyists has grown from 10,798 to 34,785. I think we can pin that directly on the Newt Gingrich/Tom DeLay takeover of Congress to a much greater extent than we can pin it on any occupant of the White House.