Almost forgot. The Washington Post’s Dan Froomking asks me publicly the following question: “Still unclear, however, is why the White House closed the meeting to journalists. Rex, can you clear that one up for us?” I guess the polite thing to do would be to answer.
I have no idea, Dan. But here’s my guess. The format of the meeting changed a few times leading up to the meeting. I think, and this is just a guess, that the President truly wanted the opportunity to talk with us about some personal things outside the view of journalists. Remember, we were talking about taxes and frankly, I don’t know how honest one would feel discussing the amount of his or her tax refund in a room full of journalists on live TV. I didn’t mind talking about business expensing of computer equipment, but the other individuals were being asked about some personal information that would have been clearly out-of-bounds: estate plans, childcare, personal challenges. It’s one thing to tell the President of the Unitetd States how you used your tax refund. It’s quite another to tell the viewers of CNN.