- Last Updated: 11:36 PM, July 8, 2012
- Posted: July 09, 2012
Hypocrisy, thy name is David Axelrod.
President Obama’s senior campaign adviser last week called Mitt Romney “the most secretive candidate we’ve seen probably since Richard Nixon,” citing Romney having assets in offshore accounts.
Amazingly, Axelrod said this just two weeks after his client invoked executive privilege — a term practically synonymous with Nixon and Watergate — to block the release of subpoenaed documents in the “Fast and Furious” scandal.
This is especially ironic considering Obama’s vow, immediately after the 2008 election, to lead the “most open and transparent [government] in history.”
Has that actually happened? Hardly.
Across the board, this White House is arguably the most secretive since, well, since you-know-who.
* The administration has used the 1917 Espionage Act six times to prosecute federal whistleblowers who leaked information to the media — twice the number brought in the entire previous 95 years.
* Despite a declaration that lobbyists wouldn’t have special access, White House staffers met with lobbyists off official property to avoid being forced to list them on visitor logs (the same logs that the White House had to be sued into making public).
* The details of ObamaCare were hashed out in private — despite candidate Obama’s pledge to do it in public proceedings.
* Freedom of Information Act requests are regularly and aggressively fought in court — often with broader anti-transparency arguments than under President George W. Bush. The Department of Homeland Security is charging unprecedentedly high “processing fees” on FOIA requests — seemingly to discourage them.
* For good measure, Obama abolished his own “transparency czar” — barely a year into his term.
To be sure, it doesn’t follow that any of the above-mentioned policies were wrong per se. Each case has to be decided on the merits — not all whistleblowers are heroes, after all.
But it remains that David Axelrod sure as hell needn’t go all the way back to Dick Nixon to find a secretive chief executive.
He can look at his own candidate.Follow @NYPostOpinion