Tim Cook recently visited a bunch of U.S. politicians to open up the lanes of communication between Apple and Washington. Two weeks ago he visited House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. An anonymous aide says conversations stayed light and introductory, so nothing heavy like the e-books case or patent infringement issues came up.
This is just one of the many ways in which Tim Cook is handling Apple in a decidedly different way than Steve Jobs ever did; as you could imagine, Jobs was never particularly interested in working with the government, nevermind in such a relaxed, friendly manner. President Obama was known to be relatively chatty with with Steve Jobs, and even the rank-and-file bureaucrats are opting to pick up iPhones.
It certainly behooves Apple to get cozy with lawmakers, especially now it's more embroiled than ever in legal issues with other manufacturers. Still, their lobbying budget is way smaller than Google's, and these meetings are but a small first step towards Apple's involvement with Washington.