Comcast lobbyist Cohen meets his match in FCC's Wheeler

Comcast’s top lobbyist David Cohen is known to be a savvy political operator, having pushed through the No. 1 US cable operator's landmark acquisition of media giant NBC Universal in 2011.

But when it comes to getting approval for Comcast to buy its biggest rival, Time Warner Cable, Cohen must win over someone just as well versed in the ways of lobbyists and the cable industry: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Comcast will formally request an FCC review of the $45.2 billion Time Warner Cable deal in late March 2014.

Cohen and Chairman Wheeler do not know each other well, according to Cohen, but their paths have crossed in senior political and industry circles. Both men are supporters of President Barack Obama, each helping to raise more than half a million dollars for his re-election campaign in 2012, according to disclosures.

Cohen is no stranger to Obama's White House. Visitor logs put Cohen, who is not a registered lobbyist, there for meetings and receptions 14 times since 2010, including twice at the Oval Office. People who know Cohen and Chairman Wheeler describe them in similar terms: steady negotiators with a strong grasp of the issues at stake, as well as the players at the table.

Comcast lobbyist Cohen meets his match in FCC's Wheeler