Barack Obama’s presidential get-to-know-you tango with the Press hit another snag yesterday with word that Politico editor-in-chief John F. Harris was backing out of moderating duties at a Politico-sponsored event at the National Press Club after former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe stipulated that the speech he was giving be off-the-record. Per Politico:
“We took down our signage that’s up over there at the Press Club and declined to participate in any way,” Harris said. He said Politico was not “in the business of sponsoring, or co-sponsoring, an off-the-record talk with a newsworthy person.”
Donna Leinwand, president of the National Press Club, also voiced her “strong opposition” to Plouffe’s decision in a letter to the Washington Speakers Bureau, which serves as his agent.
All valid points, though one has to wonder in this age of Twitter whether anything in a public sphere can really be considered off-the-record.