Obama campaign manager David Plouffe made few friends at the National Press Club Thursday.
Barring reporters from covering his portion of a public talk on the transition at a venue where little is off the record was a bold move for sure.
It quickly soured the association of "Transition 2009" co-sponsor Politico which pulled itself as a sponsor on the spot. It caught instant heat from Press Club President Donna Leinwand who e-mailed Plouffe’s people her "strong opposition" to the secrecy. The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank quoted her as saying, "If Mr. Plouffe wants to keep secrets, Mr. Plouffe should stay at home."
Reporters protested the move, which Plouffe insisted was kept off the record at the behest of co-sponsor Georgetown University. ABC News reported that a Plouffe associate later provide the media with a redacted copy of his contract with Georgetown for the event stating that Plouffe’s "portion of the program will be closed to the media."
Leinwand pointed out that Plouffe’s closure "not only reduce[d] the free flow of information" but also runs "contrary to the spirit of President Obama’s recent executive order and statements in support of a more open government."