The Arsenal of a Lobbyist: Hardball and Cupcakes

The New York Times, Sunday Business, Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Arsenal of a Lobbyist:  Hardball and Cupcakes:  An AT&T Veteran faces His Biggest Beltway Test

By Edward Wyatt in Washington D.C.

“Operation Cupcake.  As the Federal Communications Commission debated final rules last December on how Internet service providers should manage their traffic, AT&T delivered 1,500o of these opulent desserts to the F.C.C.’s headquarters here.

Like many other big corporations, AT&T annually blankets power brokers with token holiday gifts, but the cupcake campaign was notable for its military precision.  A three-page spreadsheet, stamped ‘AT&T Proprietary (Internal Use Only),’ detailed how the desserts were to be deployed to each of the 63 commission offices: four dozen were assigned to the enforcement bureau, 10 dozen to the wireless divisions, 12 cupcakes to each of four commissioers, and 18 to the chairman, and so on.

As it turns our, AT&T had begun its $39 billion courting of T-Mobile about the same time….”

I guess hardball for AT&T is a deployment of 1500 soft cupcakes from The Georgetown Cupcake Shop,” known for its  heaping swirls of luscious confection atop rich, creamy pastry.”   Interesting! And an interesting use of the sports metaphor used primarily in American baseball for pitching a hard ball in a tough sport. And with “military precision.”

Wouldn’t  a cupcake fight be fun between telephone executive officers?  What would they win?



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