Another expired Obama campaign promise
Even the NYT is starting to notice the trend in the Obama administration to break campaign promises:
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised that once a bill was passed by Congress, the White House would post it online for five days before he signed it.
“When there’s a bill that ends up on my desk as president, you the public will have five days to look online and find out what’s in it before I sign it, so that you know what your government’s doing,” Mr. Obama said as a candidate, telling voters he would make government more transparent and accountable.
When he took office in January, his team added that in posting nonemergency bills, it would “allow the public to review and comment” before Mr. Obama signed them.
Five months into his administration, Mr. Obama has signed two dozen bills, but he has almost never waited five days. On the recent credit card legislation, which included a controversial measure to allow guns in national parks, he waited just two.
Various watchdog groups have slapped Mr. Obama’s wrist for repeatedly failing to live up to the pledge. Politifact.com, the fact-checking arm of The St. Petersburg Times, has branded it a “promise broken.”At the same time, many have questioned the value of the promise, saying it was too late in the process for anything to change in a bill.
“There isn’t anybody in this town who doesn’t know that commenting after a bill has been passed is meaningless,” said Ellen S. Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan group dedicated to making government more transparent.
Now, in a tacit acknowledgment that the campaign pledge was easier to make than to fulfill, the White House is changing its terms. Instead of starting the five-day clock when Congress passes a bill, administration officials say they intend to start it earlier and post the bills sooner.
Jim Geraghty responds:
A lot of politicians break promises. But the Obama campaign took this to a new level by making promises and clearly not bothering to look into whether they would be easy or hard to keep. Obama deserves a half a point for using the “now, we know this will not be easy” line in almost every speech, but a major theme of his campaign last year was this assertion that the only obstruction to many great policy outcomes was a lack of will; all we needed was a president who was determined to make it happen, and Abracadabra! – more accessable, more transparent, more responsive government. (“Yes, we can!”) And now, we find… no, the world, and government, is a bit more complicated than that.
What? You mean he’s not a miracle worker after all? I’m so disappointed.
Related to all this, Michael Barone blasts President Obama in a piece this morning where he discusses Obama’s Chicago Way-style of governing. Make sure to read the whole thing.