September 4th, 2007
11:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama proposes transparent government

Sen. Barack Obama campaigned in New Hampshire after Labor Day.

(CNN) - Continuing his Labor Day campaign theme of change, Sen. Barack Obama spoke to a small gathering of people in Manchester, New Hampshire Tuesday morning to unveil his plan for transparency in government. Obama told those assembled for the roundtable, “We need a system that works for the American people's interest and not for the special interest.”

One of the main points of his plan focused on creating a centralized database that would give Americans access to lobbying information such as who is lobbying members of Congress, which lobbyist have ethics violations and where lobbyist money is going.

Obama added, “I really believe that when it comes to what's wrong with this country, the American people aren't the problem. The American people are the answer. They want to trust in our government again. We just need a government that will trust in us.”

Obama also addressed recent comments made by Sen. Hillary Clinton suggesting that he lacked the experience to be president.

“I know that some people like to count experience as the amount of time that you've spent in Washington, and I acknowledge that I might not always have the kind of experience that Washington likes, but I believe that I have the experience that Washington and America needs.”

–CNN Political Assignment Editor Alta Spells

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Antony, Dallas TX

    I believe Barack is an honest straightforward man and I get convinced of this every single day as I listen to him. I cannot beign to understand when people seem bent on Hillary as the frontlearner and the "sure nominee". What's a name got to do with it? I believe all the candidates running should join him in his noble quest to bring change in America. If people have no idea how money just ruins everything politics, see the news of another Clinton fundraiser scandal. The MSM will not bring this to light and thanks to the Washington Post, we have it. Take a look.

    Enjoy your day and GO OBAMA 08.

    September 4, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Mr. Coffey, Raleigh, NC

    I can't believe people aren't listening to him. He wants a transparent government. He has disclosed his financial information. He disclosed his EARMARKS when no one told him to do so. Where is Clinton's transparency? How can she claim to be an agent of change without being transparent? Why haven't ANYONE challenged her on her LACK of transparency? Where are her earmarks? This smacks of "believe what I say and forget what I did". No more political fighting please.

    No more Bushes or Clintons

    Vote for anyone but Clinton (or Romney)

    September 4, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    I've been trying and trying to think and articulate why I and so many others like Sen. Obama so much and what my major problem with Hillary Clinton is... I've really struggled with this, as I think she'd be an okay president, far better than Bush anyway.

    But over the course of my time talking to co-workers, strangers, anybody that would listen, its hit me. Now I know why I don't like her nearly as much as Obama.

    The reason is...exactly what I said. I think she'd be competent, she'd be okay. We'd skate through the next 8 years without attacking anyone blatantly and there'd be some incremental good done. But...THAT'S NOT WHAT WE NEED!!!

    Our next president must be a visionary. We need a leader in the truest sense of the word. It is not the time to be cautious or meek or reactionary about our next President.

    Instead of reversing 8 years of damage, I think Hillary Clinton would be too tempted to keep the status quo, keeping things like the patriot act and the overall "war on terror" humming along nicely if it made things as easy politically as it has for Bush. She takes too much lobby money to inact real change, it would be lipservice and nothing more.

    We don't need another family dynasty playing the same political games our country has suffered from for seven years. That wouldn't serve the country well. We need somebody to come in with an almighty bulldozer and overhaul the system.

    Our literal survival is as stake in this next election. We are facing ice caps that are melting, healthcare that's a joke, a world that shows us no compassion and a lot of hate, corporations and foreign interests out of control in large part due to our own acts or lack thereof. We have a culture of greed and instant gratification driven only by profit even at the expense of our kids.

    I don't honestly believe that Hillary Clinton has the sheer vision and courage to make the kind of major changes that need to happen. I see it on the faces I see week after week, in the conversations around "the water cooler" and on the internet boards.

    She doesn't inspire action.

    Even if she logically sees what needs to be done, even if she can talk about it, she can't inspire others to pull it off. I don't believe she'll unite the Congress much less the States. She is not taking on the right, she will drive them to act because despite good intentions that is what she does.

    I don't believe she'll overcome her lobbyist buddies to give us all equal and fair healthcare... she couldn't do it before, why now?

    I DO believe that Barrack Obama could do those things, especially Obama. I sense a kind of fire in the air around him.

    People are exited, motivation is coming from areas inside people they didn't know they had, people that have never engaged in politics, ever, including myself.

    He is almost singlehandedly creating an environment that makes voters feel inspired enough to throw down against the system, to finally, gloriously get involved with a broken system and fix it once and for all.

    Frankly, Hilary is old school politics and corporate interest in a pink suit. Where others have spoken out loudly against corruption, cronyism and the loss of our rights in the last seven years, she has gotten by, said just enough and no more, and I say that's not enough.

    I want to be inspired, I want to be told that Americans can sacrifice with the best, take our knocks and handle the truth. I want the world to know Americans are reasonable and well reasoned people with heart and toughness to spare.

    Frankly, Hillary feels like my babysitter instead of my president.

    Obama understands the vibe of the 21st century where Hillary is still living in the 90's. She cannot help but be a product of her husband's times, as divisive as they were. I'm so weary of that...

    I cried when I heard Obama speak during Kerry's convention, because he was so right, there are no blue or red states, we're all The UNITED STATES.

    I don't want the country I love to be known as an imperial empire, a dictatorial regime bringing democracy on the backs of missles and bullets.

    I don't need another president that will rationalize and divide with statements like, "if you want to take on the right, I'm your girl." or "I'll get us out of Iraq...unless Al Qaeda is still there."

    I'm sick of half speak. Listen close and you'll see Obama isn't doing that.

    I want the world to know the good people I know, the honesty I know. I want the sort of knowledge, class and courage that the best politicians in history have given this country. It's time for another Abe Lincoln, another JFK, because only a leader of that caliber can harness the belief currently lying dormant in this country can pull us safely into the future.

    I never, ever want to be known as the generation that lost our freedoms to fear and lost our world to neglect and greed.

    The worst thing that can happen to the next presidential election is that it’s close. If it’s close, the RNC can use caging, intimidation and voter apathy to steal it yet again. If it’s Hillary, it’s gonna be close, and I'll do what I can to help her too, but I feel it'll be politics as usual, and I'll be scared... as usual.

    I do, however, believe that Barrack Obama can inspire what needs to be done. He can not only inspire it, he can pull it off. He can bring a million people to the polls that have never even bothered to vote before.

    The Clintons had their chance, lets not live in the past, lets figure out what will make the future.

    Obama in '08.

    September 4, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Christian, Tampa FL

    If Obama could make good on even just half of his promises, he would prove to be one of the more memorable and important presidents in American history.

    September 4, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. 'Benga, Manchester NH

    The more i listen to this guy, the more i am convinced he is the person we need come 2008.

    September 4, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    How about Obama refusing to take campaign money from lobbyists as Edwards has proposed?

    September 4, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Michael, New York

    Call my cynical, but after the last election I somehow have a feeling that people who so loudly demand a change in the government will, nonetheless, vote for anybody but Mr. Obama.

    I guess we are too afraid of changes, even if they are, at this point, necessary to maintain the United States as it was envisioned by the founding fathers.

    September 4, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Mia, Stafford, VA

    Barack Obama 08
    This guy is awesome!

    September 4, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Eric ,N. Reading, MA

    He is a member of The Council on Foriegn Relations.He is not to be believed when he claims to do anything for the people he is a New World Order Man.

    September 4, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Ron, TX

    "If Obama could make good on even just half of his promises, he would prove to be one of the more memorable and important presidents in American history."

    Correction: -most- memorable and important... alongside Washington and Lincoln. That's the caliber we're looking at here.

    September 4, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. J Rhinehart, South Carolina

    This is one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time. A central database sounds great. Bravo for you Obama.

    September 4, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. Leo Atlanta, Ga.

    you people are amazing. Mr. Obama
    will say anything to get himself elected, Just like the other candidates.
    Mrs. Clinton is the only one that can stand up to Republicans. Would any of your employers have hired you without any experince?

    September 4, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. J Houston, TX

    If any president in history makes good on half his probably remember his name.

    September 4, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. Biscoe, NC

    Obama is going to have a tough time working in the senate after he loses the presidential primary. Maybe its better that way that he have a short career.

    September 4, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. Doc, Roxboro, NC

    For what the pundits call "An America desirous of change", the fascination with Hillary is astounding. In my heart, I simply don't see any change substantial enough to make much of a difference. Obama may easily be as ineffective as Jimmy Carter, (another Washington outsider) but his honesty is downright refreshing. I'm so disillusioned about our politics that I feel anyone who speaks and acts deserves a shot.

    September 4, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. mountain man

    Jonny come lately. Obama has taken lobbyist money and is only saying what he thinks people want to hear. Its a shame Obama is such a sell out.

    September 4, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  17. Dan, TX

    Obama is on to something here. I want to go on the web and see exactly which companies, individuals, and other entities are contributing to which politician and have that somehow cross-indexed with legislation beneficial to that lobbying effort, including data on the congresspersons voting record on those issues.

    September 4, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Independent Voter, TN


    Quit cutting and pasting this ridiculous and three week old post of yours on every thread. No one takes you seriously since you have obviously been programmed by the Obama campaign. You've turned me from ambivalent about Obama to anti-Obama all by yourself.

    September 4, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. Dan, TX

    I would like to go on-line, find out who is contributing what to which candidates. Have those contributors representing special interests linked to bills being considered by congress and follow the voting records of the members of congress. I want to be able to judge for myself if lobbying is buying votes. Obama is on to something with this idea.

    Sometimes it is obvious. Ted Kennedy is fighting against a wind farm because it in his backyard, but he supports bills to subsidize wind farm development elsewhere. That is not a great display of integrity in my view.

    If alternative energy lobbyists were giving money to a congressman who campaigned for alternative energy, I wouldn't think of bribery if the congressman supported favorable legislation, I'd think he supports alternative energy.

    On the other hand, if this same congressman got oil lobbiest money, and then voted to drill in Alaska, I'd think his vote was bought. It would allow me to make my own judgment on integrity. I like it. Good idea Senator Obama!

    September 4, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  20. xtina chicago IL

    That's the thing about being focused on promises and not past accomplishments; you can't rely on promises, but if someone has already done some things you like, well, you kind of know what you're getting.

    September 4, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  21. w19, Redding CA

    Thanks to Obama America is changing already. Obama is not just about hope any longer; in fact Obama is a real possibilty for the people to have a president who identifies with the people and not with the power of the position, who as a community organizer knows where people need to go and how to take them there. If only the people now would do their part and elect Obama.

    September 4, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  22. Bruce, San Francisco,CA

    Go Barack, America is blessed to have such talent and not making use of it will be the biggest mistake ever. Ever heard of Gordon Brown of England, Barack's message is very similar to his, Gordon is promising to change the system totally and allow people to be part of decision making on how their country is run and have them in the full know of what is happenning with their country, that is decisions like going to war can not only be made by government but by the people through their representatives in parliament(US senate equivalent) and other channels. Believe will not like to believe and the Clintons will obviously smear him and pump up their bogus change + exeperience slogan but what experience?, the same that George Bush brought of the old politics that his father used. UK's Gordon Brown says no more slogan politics but change politics and i think if Obama wins and together they will bring about a big political revolution.

    September 5, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  23. Michal Mudd, Albuquerque, NM

    I hope his idea of transparency in government also includes transparency and fairness in the electoral system. Fair and equitable signature collection rules for candidates to appear on the ballot, regardless of their party affiliation, the inclusion of ALL candidates in a given race, regardless of party affiliation, the end of gerrymandering and other Rovian ploys to keep third party candidates out of races or preclude their re-election, and the reform of outdated and anti-democratic electoral college rulings.
    The time for Americans to have openness, honesty, transparency and fresh air in our political system is LONG OVERDUE.
    I hope Obama includes these ideas in his concept.

    September 5, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  24. Walters A MD

    Obama 2008, that's what the nation needs, not media imposed candidates with no substance, you don't need to spend 10 yrs in Washington to know what is right. This present dilemma in Iraq was co-authorized by Hillary who had all the so called experience which tells u to authorize a WAR WITHOUT READING the intelligence report, even with Bill's advice, that's the problem with those who have so much experience. She just followed the crowd with fanatism and her clique of EXPERIENCED Washingtoners RUMSFELD< CHENEY< BUSH WITH FATHER"S APPROVAL WHICH WAS AN EXCALATION of his unfinish mission of the 90's. IF CHEALSEA and JENNA were to be deployed at that time i bet u the decision would have beeen different. Good judgment will always prevail, that's why Obama realized it was a war of choice and Saddam was no immediate threat. I pray GOd for this guy to be listen to with open hearts and ears.
    Tired of the monarchial system( Bush and Clintons are trying to install, Maybe Laura Bush 2016, Chelsea Clinton 2024, Jenna bush or fiance 2032.

    September 5, 2007 03:25 am at 3:25 am |