The Chronicle, which had previously been allowed to cover Obama’s events in San Francisco, contacted former White House press aides who called the move a mistake.
- Nicolle Wallace, a former press secretary to Republican President George W. Bush, called the ban "idiotic ... inexplicable on the politics side, let alone the press side."
- "For a Democrat to go to San Francisco and not invite the local press is like George W. Bush going to Crawford, Texas" and doing the same, she said. "This is a place where people want to be reminded about what they love about the guy."
- Chris Lehane, a former spokesman for Democratic President Bill Clinton, was also baffled by the move, saying they always had local pools.
- "It's not only the right thing to do in terms of respecting the Fourth Estate, but it typically translates into better press coverage," he said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that access results in the occupying of more real estate in the newspaper and on television."
- Ken Lisaius, who oversaw local White House press coverage as a former deputy director of the office of media affairs in the Bush administration, said he "simply can't recall a time where we didn't provide for a local pool. It's part of a transparent and identifiable government.”