At Politico, Tevi Troy, a former senior White House aide under George W. Bush, comments on the Obama White House's failure to live up to basic promises on transparency:
POLITICO has reported that White House aides have been taking these meetings in the White House’s satellite offices in Jackson Place and even one nearby coffee shop. Meetings that do take place in the White House, according to a Center for Public’s Integrity investigative piece that ran Friday in POLITICO, are often logged without key details — including who was there and what was discussed.
This lack of openness – and consistency – is itself revealing. “When they need us,” one lobbyist said – anonymously, of course, “they call us. When they don’t, we’re evil.”
The notion of White House officials taking meetings off the White House grounds is not new. When I served in the Bush White House, I would often meet friends at the nearby Starbucks, at 17th and Pennsylvania. I wanted to save friends the hassle of going through security — which requires multiple check points and magnetometers. But I certainly did not do this to circumvent transparency requirements or campaign promises.
Troy provides some unique understanding of how the White House works, so be sure and read the whole thing. What's going on in the White House would be cause for concern even if Obama didn't promise the moon when it came to transparency.