Al Kamen’s “In the Loop” column in The Washington Post reports
that even though Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton only shows up
33 times on the White House logs over the past three years, her
spokesman says Clinton has actually made 681 trips to the White House.
The obvious question that follows is that if signing into the White House visitor logs is routinely ignored for, as Kamen called them, “bigwigs” who most often get waved in, are they a legitimate tool for the public to learn which lobbyists are camping out in the White House doing business?
A couple of years back, Obama’s White House dealt with the embarrassment of having the names of lobbyists' and other high-profile advocates' meetings aired in the media. Many of the visitors in the White House log countered the campaign pledges made by candidate Obama, so to protect his personal interests his staff callously and laughably moved the offending meetings to the Caribou Coffee across the street.
If an airline kept such shoddy records of its passengers, the federal government would swoop in to shut them down.
Yet the names of those who visit an executive-branch decisionmaker in the White House complex itself go regularly unrecorded. Clearly, that information is unimportant.
Unfortunately, this is just one more example of Obama’s opaqueness. His administration only lets the public know what it wants the public to know, all the while continuing to mockingly claim to be the “most transparent administration in history.”
This latest blow-up over the visitors log is just one more example of the contempt Obama feels for the so-called Fourth Estate and their willingness to hold him accountable. It will be amusing and pathetic when a new administration is in place and the media lapdogs try to turn back into watchdogs expecting to be treated with respect.
Somehow I suspect that many in the media will discover that no matter the posturing, their moral authority as independent, nonpartisan chroniclers of the actions of government has forever been surrendered. Too bad; they will be missed.
Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the communications director for Americans for Limited Government.