Bush & Obama On Town Hall Meetings

President Obama is holding a series of town halls this week. It’s worth noting that President Obama’s meetings are actual town halls, open to Joe & Jane America.

It is also worth remembering that it wasn’t always like this. 2005:

“I think it’s so typical of the Republican Party to close out everybody they don’t agree with,” says Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Dean says the Bush administration’s policy of shutting out opposition in his appearances is emblematic of what he says is an administration that has little respect for people who disagree with the president.

“There’s nothing wrong with a town meeting. I think they’re terrific,” says Dean. “I think the problem is that these meetings that the president’s having really aren’t town meetings. They’re really rallies with the faithful, and I don’t think that gets you much in the way of policy.”

The White House declined a Minnesota Public Radio request to discuss its town hall forums and criticism that the president’s gatherings, billed as official White House business, seem to be open only to Bush supporters.