March 31st, 2011
04:19 PM ET

Transparency advocate calls White House decision 'boneheaded’

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A group of transparency advocates recognized President Obama on Monday for his commitment to a more open and transparent government.

No doubt some much needed good news for the White House, which has been mired in budget negotiations on the Hill and defining the conflict in Libya.

But, if a tree falls in a forest and no one's there to hear it….does it make a sound?

The White House not only closed the meeting to the press (despite requests from the advocates to invite reporters), but it also failed to even put it on the president’s public schedule.

A move one of the transparency advocates who participated in the 20-minute long Oval Office meeting called “boneheaded.”

“I hope that this blunder falls into what I call the ‘klutz’ category of governing,” Gary Bass with OMB Watch wrote on his organization’s website today. “What irony: a meeting on transparency that was not disclosed beforehand,” he added.

The award ceremony was originally scheduled for March 16th and open to the press pool, but was postponed “due to changes in the president’s schedule.”

Reporters only learned of Monday’s clandestine affair after several of the transparency advocates blogged about their White House meeting. Of course you can guess what happened next.

“Instead of the story being about what the president had to say during the meeting and about the substance of the administration's openness policies, the narrative has become about a secret meeting,” Bass wrote. “That's a real shame, but it's a consequence of not addressing the optics and not ensuring that the meeting was transparent.”

But one of the advocates present at the ceremony, Project on Government Oversight's Danielle Brian, praised the private meeting.

“The meeting, which had been scheduled for 10 minutes, lasted a little over 20. Rather than it being a photo op, it was everything we hoped: We returned POTUS attention to the need to do more to open the government, while giving him appropriate accolades for his having put the issues on the table in the first place," she wrote Tuesday.


Topics: President Obama • The Buzz • The News

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Heather

    Openness policies? I read that the Obama administration intentionally holds meetings with lobbyist and liberal activists in a site just off the whotehouse grounds, so there is no list of who they are meeting with!

    I would not call that openness or transparancy!

    March 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Notfooled

      SHHHHHH-(whispering) You heard this on FOX news right?

      April 1, 2011 at 4:29 am |
  2. pete

    They call him Obombma..

    March 31, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Notfooled

      Well -you call him that. We call Him the best President ever. About bombs he sure knows how to place them. Very strategically don't you think?

      April 1, 2011 at 4:32 am |
  3. Liz Carter in Georgia

    My GOD! OBAMA has been more open and transparent than any other PRESIDENT that has EVER dunned the WHITEHOUSE, period! He deserved to be recognized for this! Had he not been so open, you 'authors of confusion' wouldn't have been able to be scratching, screaming and crawling all over one another trying to critique, discredit, berate, and dismiss each and every step he takes, right or left; every word he utters, (even in his thoughts and sleep) every breath he breathes, every hour, every minute of every day!

    March 31, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Notfooled

      As usual Liz you are right. Jay is a little mosquito always buzzing around your ear. Swat him. Say hello to your 94 year old mother for me.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:40 am |
  4. Jay in NC

    Hypocrite, they should have added to the list of boneheaded and klutz. Still waiting on GITMO Barry. You said you were returning us to our moral high ground, isn't that what you called it.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  5. Notfooled

    Name me one President that got everything he said he was going to do on a campaign done. Just one. If you can't shut -up about Gitmo. I'm sure if the Repubs weren't in his way he would of gotten it done.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:37 am |
    • Jay in NC

      This is your answer? Barry was voted for because he was going to do these things. Now even his supporters have given up.

      April 1, 2011 at 5:38 am |
  6. Obamasux1

    I have to say the president said he was going to be transparent and he is, it is obvious through his transparency that he is a terrorist supporting, anti-american, lying, incompetent, unqualified thug.

    April 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Thanks Notfooled, for remembering her! I will certainly do that. Thank you for your continued, unbiased strong support for our PRESIDENT. Thank you for being discerning enough to see through the smoke and fire of what's true and what's false; what's credible dialogue and opinion, 'pro' and 'con' of his efforts; and what's perception, confusion, divisiveness and hate. Have a wonderful day!

    April 3, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  8. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Obamasux1, thanks for agreeing that OBAMA is being transparent. However, 'terrorist supporting'? How do you mean? I've already heard all of the un-American, unfounded spin, and 'rhetorical' rhetoric against him on the other descriptions you've levelled against him; but terrorist supporting?!? BTW, I believe the real 'thugs', the 'OGs' (Original Gangsters) left the WHITEHOUSE in a blaze of fire and smoke, back in Jan, 2009.

    April 3, 2011 at 11:29 am |