White House visitors log reflects Obama agenda

White House visitors log reflects Obama agenda

December 31st, 2009

By Michael D. Shear, Washington Post

 Anna Burger with the SEIU is one of Obama’s most frequent visitors

Tens of thousands of people poured through the White House in September, including many who visited as part of organized outreach by the Obama administration to particularly important constituencies, according to visitor logs that were released Wednesday.

The records, made public as part of President Obama’s effort to keep his promise of government transparency, include almost 25,000 entries from the computerized visitor logs, primarily covering the last two weeks of September. It was the latest of three such releases, and the first of what are expected to be large-scale monthly reports by the White House.

The growing list of names of White House visitors, which now totals almost 30,000, offers a fresh, if imperfect, window into the efforts of Obama and his staff to use the White House as a tool for bringing key groups together in the historic venue.

Thousands of entries remain somewhat mysterious, offering no explanation for the reason for the visit, and some visits are not disclosed at all, including those of visitors whose known presence at the White House would pose a national security risk.

The list also highlights the continuing influence of the labor unions: A senior official for the Service Employees International Union, Anna Burger, was one of the most frequent visitors to the president himself.

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