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Obama Unopened

March 18, 2011

Obama flaunts openness award

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President Obama speaks at an event AP PhotoClose

President Obama’s only event at the White House that isn’t closed to the press on Wednesday is a ceremony in which he’ll accept an award for being open to the press.

According to his public schedule, Obama has four behind-closed-doors meetings from 10 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.: his daily briefing, a talk with the USAID administrator, a session with senior advisers, and a huddle with his defense secretary. All of the meets are in the Oval Office, and all of them are “closed press,” the White House says.

But at 2:55 p.m., Obama will emerge to “accept an award from a coalition of good government groups and transparency advocates to recognize ‘his deep commitment to an open and transparent government—of, by, and for the people’ in conjunction with Sunshine Week,” the White House said in guidance to reporters.

And, importantly: “There will be a pool spray at the top.”

The White House didn’t specify what Obama will say, if anything, when he accepts the award. But he probably won’t mention that his administration acted on fewer requests for information last year even as it was asked for more, a tally documented by the AP.

And he also probably won’t talk about his aggressive effort to prosecute federal workers who leak information to shed light on wrongdoing. Or that despite his anti-lobbyist rhetoric, his aides are meeting with lobbyists just outside the White House, allowing the administration to keep the meetings off the books from public view.

We wonder if he’ll even take a question from the press pool, a practice Obama seems to have grown to hate.

http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0311/oh_so_transparent_bac12f28-96cb-4fb0-bf56-d325856ff3df.html

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