WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama's image managers don't want you to know about most of the donor events he is headlining -- including one tonight in Manhattan for Democratic elites where the top hosts have raised $100,000 each for Obama's White House bid.
Obama makes his second visit this week to New York -- Hillary Rodham Clinton territory -- as his campaign insists you don't deserve to be able to know where he is going to raise millions of dollars unless he or his operatives feel in the mood.
In the span of about five hours Monday night, Obama appeared at small events in Manhattan, and then he breakfasted with donors Tuesday morning.
Last Sunday, the Obama campaign wanted all of the stories to be about his visit to Selma, Ala., to mark the anniversary of a historic voting rights battle -- so there was no advance official disclosure that he was flying to Boston from Alabama to scoop up campaign cash.
The Obama team pushed back one Boston event so Obama could stay longer in Selma. He used the time to create a photo op with himself and former President Bill Clinton without archrival Hillary in the frame. I watched Obama skipping out of Bill Clinton's induction into the Voting Rights Hall of Fame -- after allowing a decent amount of time for pictures.
Obama's counselors did not want you to know that on Feb. 22, he hit St. Louis for a fund-raising event. They did not want you to know about the existence of fund-raisers in Ohio.
His handlers are yielding some ground. That's progress. At least we know that Obama is in New York today.
After word leaks out about some of Obama's bigger events, sometimes they are posted on Obama's "public schedule." And, in some cases, the handlers are allowing one -- yes, only one, but one is better than none -- print reporter in to take notes and share the pool report with the others.
Today in New York, Obama has on his schedule a "young professionals" reception that will have pooled coverage. Opening the reception kind of fits in to Obama's drive to fashion himself as the candidate of generational change. What's omitted is a mega-event that will probably take in at least $1 million at the Grand Hyatt with Obama and wife Michelle. Chairs have to raise $100,000, hosts $50,000, co-hosts $25,000 and supporters, $1,000 to $4,000.
This sort of selective release of information about even what city Obama is visiting on a certain day raises questions about the credibility of Obama's claim that "we are going to transform the political process." Obama putting the kibosh on reports of his fund-raising travels is politics-as-usual. Not wrong. But not different.