In an interview with ABC News yesterday, President Barack Obama attempted to school opponent Mitt Romney on the value of transparency in any presidential candidate:
“What’s important is if you are running for president is that the American people know who you are and what you’ve done and that you’re an open book. And that’s been true of every presidential candidate dating all the way back to Mr. Romney’s father.”
Obama made the comments in a bid that Romney is not forthcoming enough with his overseas financial records.
How important is being an “open book” to Obama? On the day after he was sworn into office, Obama signed his first Executive Order: 13489, “Presidential Records”. While some have claimed this was the new president’s first act towards a more transparent office, section 2 of the order leaves many with a different impression:
Notice Of Intent To Disclose Presidential RecordsWhen the Archivist provides notice to the incumbent and former Presidents of his intent to disclose Presidential records pursuant to section 1270.46 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist, using any guidelines provided by the incumbent and former Presidents, shall identify any specific materials, the disclosure of which he believes may raise a substantial question of executive privilege.
Why would Mr. Obama feel the need, as his first order of presidential duty, to identify materials to be sealed that may raise questions of his executive privilege?
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