This is what I found while researching the subject.
This was the promise Obama made.
No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration
So it seems he didn’t say the won’t hire them at all.
This is what organizations like Sunlight Foundation had to say
“Washington is not a nice place to walk in with just a lot of bright ideas. You have to be able to get things done,” said David Vance, the communication and research director of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization that tracks government ethics. “The mistake of the administration was to use too broad a brush in vilifying lobbyists. The school lunch lobbyist is lumped in with the Halliburton lobbyist.”
The Obama administration has set a higher standard for ethics that deserves praise, said Bill Allison, senior fellow with the open government group the Sunlight Foundation
So what they did was start issuing waivers, atleast three of them have been issued.
Jocelyn Frye, who is now director of policy and projects in the Office of the First Lady. She previously lobbied for National Partnership for Women and Families
Cecilia Muñoz, now director of intergovernmental affairs in the Executive Office of the President, managing the White House”s relationships with state and local governments. She has also been designated the administration’s a principal liaison to the Hispanic community. Muñoz formerly lobbied for National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization
Lynn was a Raytheon lobbyist for six years, lobbying extensively on a broad range of defense-related issues, Grassley argued. If confirmed, Lynn would be the top operations manager at the Pentagon, with final authority on a number of contract, program and budget decisions.
Lynn was the most problematic one and was made to drop his stock holdings in the company as well as non-participation from many programs that he previously associated with.