Friday, February 6, 2009


Such a great word in politics right now. The right of the people to see what's happening in government. If Blago had been transparent we would have seen the deals he was doing for his pals and the bad guys that were involved in the affairs of the People.


Listen to this exchange at the White House between Jake Tapper of ABC News and Robert Gibbs, Obama's Press Secretary. It took place on February 5th:

MR. GIBBS: Jake.

Q Robert, two questions. One is a housekeeping one. In the name of the transparency that you and the President herald so much, is there any way we could get the copies of the waivers that the OMB issues to allow certain Cabinet posts or deputy posts --
MR. GIBBS: I'll check on it.

Q -- free of the ethics constraints you put up? And also the disclosure forms that your nominees put out that go to the Office of Government Ethics that somehow they're not able to email or put on the web -- is there any way we can get copies of those?
MR. GIBBS: I will check. I don't -- I don't know how those forms are distributed.

Q Just based on listening to the President's rhetoric, I'm sure it's something he'd want to do. (Laughter.) The question is --
MR. GIBBS: Knowing of your crystal clarity on his opinion, I'll certainly check.

Q He doesn't believe in transparency?
MR. GIBBS: Did you have another more pertinent question?

Q I think that's pretty -- I think it's fairly pertinent here, Cabinet nominees and whether or not they pay their taxes and whether or not they have speaking fees. With all sorts of industries they're supposed to regulate, I think it's fairly pertinent. You don't?
MR. GIBBS: Obviously I do, and obviously the President does.

Q Okay, well, then we'll move on. A majority of the American people apparently support blocking or making major changes to the stimulus bill, according to a Gallup poll. Are you worried at all that you've lost control of the process on how this bill is perceived?

MR. GIBBS: No. Chuck? (Which means he's moving on to another subject.)

Some are comparing Gibbs to a Bush scapegoat who later wrote a book. The idea is that Gibbs is kept in the dark, stumbles over the tough questions, and Obama appears on the scene a few days later and gives out all the answers anyone could ever want.

Maybe. Or maybe Obama is going to have trouble with the media throughout his presidency because he feels threatened when anyone disagrees with him and hates working within the constraints of rules. He's a tough one to defend, as Axelrod already found out.

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