Sunday, March 29, 2009
Obama again fails the honesty test
The Washington Post reports that President Obama's purported town hall meeting with the American people over the Internet last week was actually an event with selected questioners who backed his campaign.
Obama has promised a transparency to government, but his administration has been caught posting executive orders on its website instead of giving them to the press and hosting a second swearing in to office without notifying the media for coverage.
Accusations of it also having a Nixon-like hit list of critics have also clouded any new sense of integrity to the administration.
The Post reports:
President Obama has promised to change the way the government does business, but in at least one respect he is taking a page from the Bush playbook, stocking his town hall Thursday with supporters whose soft -- though far from planted -- questions provided openings to discuss his preferred message of the day.
Obama has said, "I think it's important to engage your critics ... because not only will you occasionally change their mind but, more importantly, sometimes they will change your mind," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs recounted to The Post's Lois Romano in an interview Wednesday.
But while the online question portion of the White House town hall was open to any member of the public with an Internet connection, the five fully identified questioners called on randomly by the president in the East Room were anything but a diverse lot.
They included: a member of the pro-Obama Service Employees International Union, a member of the Democratic National Committee who campaigned for Obama among Hispanics during the primary; a former Democratic candidate for Virginia state delegate who endorsed Obama last fall in an op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star; and a Virginia businessman who was a donor to Obama's campaign in 2008.