Reporters banned from Obama-Clinton meeting with Clinton backers on Thursday. UPDATE After I asked for event to be open, Obama allows pool coverage.

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WASHINGTON—UPDATE. After I raised the issue of opening the closed Obama-Clinton Thursday evening meeting with donors and fund-raisers to the press, the Obama campaign on Thursday afternoon agreed to allow a pool reporter to cover the event.

Meanwhile, I've learned that about 170 Clinton VIP donors are expected.There was going to be a small reception of the most elite donors with Obama and Clinton before the main reception for more exclusive meet and greet, but that was canceled.END OF UPDATE.

ORIGINAL Reporters are banned from covering the meeting presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) are having Thursday night at the Mayflower Hotel here with Clinton’s best fund-raisers. It is their first joint appearance since Obama clinched the nomination.

This event has everything to do with big money in politics yet the Obama campaign does not see any reason to at least include a pool reporter.

I pushed to have this event opened up on Wednesday, when I asked Obama campaign manager David Plouffe if he would allow in at least a pooler.

I did this at a briefing Plouffe was having for reporters at the Democratic National Committee.

I asked Plouffe for open coverage, or at least a pooler. When I did, I made a point to praise the campaign for the steps it has taken to do more in the sunlight because as many of my readers know, I have been on Obama’s back for years—since 2004--about fund-raising in secret.

As of this month, Obama now allows reporters in all his fund-raisers, even ones in private homes. That’s a new standard—the highest in the political business-- and one I hope others in political life emulate. Because of the Obama pressure, rival Sen. John McCain (R-Az.) finally opened up his fund-raising events.

Because of my, well, nagging on disclosure, all of Michelle Obama’s fund-raising events are now put on her schedule, though whether pool reporters at least can cover her fund-raising events in non-public places has not been established. There is no disclosure on what Cindy McCain does on the fund-raising front.

Plouffe seemed to appreciate that I took note of Obama’s new standards and then turned to the matter of opening up the Thursday night event. Plouffe said the meeting was closed because these were Clinton’s donors,as if that matters or if they dictate Obama campaign policy. That sounded to me like a lame excuse. What, at this point blaming Clinton? Obama is going to this event so he can get Clinton's richest, best networked donors—the ones who have raised her $250,000 and up on board his campaign.

Either you believe in transparency or you don’t. Transparency in government and political life is either natural to how you operate, what you believe, what the public has a right to know or it is just another political tactic.

6 Comments

RELAX, REPORTERS ARE BEING ALLOWED IN THE MEETING!

How Rezko you to think that the great Obama would soil his big, fat, Hillary donors ( or it is dinars ) with reporters?

Why are you surprised? This is the game of the Obama campaign. He blames the RNC, for him getting out of excepting federal financing of the general election presidential campaign, he need more money to fight back the 527's. Now he blamed Hillary for no reporters. Obama's entire campaign is the blame game, he tells you more what the other candidate will not or will do, and relies on advisors to cover, what he politically will do, because he has no clue! The transparency of the Obama campaign, is what they want you to see, when they want you to see it!

I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE NERVE OF THESE TWO. DON'T THEY REALIZE THEY ARE DAMN PUBLIC SERVANTS. THEY WORK FOR US THE PEOPLE, HOW DARE THEY HAVE CLOSED DOOR MEETINGS. WHY IS'NT THE DAMN PRESS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I AM SO PISSED OFF, I CAN'T BELEIVE THESE PEOPLE DO WHATEVER THEY WNAT,I REALLY CAN'T. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE ? WHY IS THE PUBLIC SO STUPID ? CAN'T THEY SEE THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG HERE ?

Of course blame Clinton....The news media lets Obama do what ever he wants!!! SHAME ON THEM! You guys have to get tougher...I'm sorry...it really makes me sick tha Obama gets away with so much...I really hope the news media starts to put more attention to Larry Sinclair....HUGE STORY.....HUGE! Do not let Obama dictate how you do YOUR JOB!!!!

I believe that the fact you have had to push Obama for year previously, and yet again recently shows his use of "transparency" as a political tactic.

And then to recently blame the exclusion of press coverage on Clinton's supporters, when they are in the process of hearing his requests for $, really shows bad form.

The jury is in: Obama is transparent when it is only politically expedient for him. This is NOT a commitment to principle.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 26, 2008 11:19 AM.

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