By now it was 5 p.m. ET, nearly five hours after my initial inquiry. When I told the spokesperson that I did not see why the quote needed to be anonymous and attributed to “a White House official,” the spokesperson said if I needed something on the record I could refer to the First Lady’s travel guidance and a transcript of a press call regarding the trip. These documents did not contain an answer to my question regarding why no reporters would be traveling with the First Lady.

Now, I’ll leave frustration over Michelle Obama’s trip to The New York Times, Nick Krisfof, The Weekly Standard and Drudge Report (a motley crew right there). What I want to know — and what I’ve wanted to know since last October — is why the spokesperson in the First Lady’s office didn’t want to give me a name I could put on a harmless, formulaic quote?