Obama set out to do more than just play defense against scandal. Right after taking office, he sent a memo to federal agencies and promised an “unprecedented level of openness in government.” His was the first modern administration to release White House visitor logs.

Before long, though, advocates for open government began to complain that the administration was resisting public records requests and going after whistle-blowers and leakers with vigor.

Then news broke that the Department of Justice had subpoenaed phone records of the Associated Press and emails of a Fox News journalist in pursuit of government leakers. The media peppered the White House with questions about its commitment to the 1st Amendment…

Tad Devine, senior advisor to former Democratic presidential nominees Al Gore and John F. Kerry, thinks the Obama team is embracing the idea. “They understand that by putting out a lot of information they reduce the risk that the Republicans can convince people and the press that they are hiding something,” Devine said. “They also understand that time is their enemy in dealing with issues of this nature.”