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White House Switches from On-the-Record to Background-on-Embargo Today

The White House changed the rules on today’s briefing with reporters ahead of Barack Obama’s healthcare speech tonight. This morning, it was on the record, now David Axelrod and Communications Director Anita Dunn want it on background, and the information embargoed until the speech airs tonight.

The likely reason is: because they can. And, because they’re sitting on something they want the American public to hear without giving the press–and detractors on the Hill–six hours to digest and report.

FishbowlDC has the original email from this morning:

Today at 1:30 PM, Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Communications Director Anita Dunn will hold a discussion with reporters on tonight’s health care address. The discussion will be on the record and will last about 40 minutes.

Attendance is limited to one reporter per outlet.

Please let me know whom to expect from your outlet by replying to this email.

What: Discussion with David Axelrod and Anita Dunn

When: Today at 1:30 PM

Where: Roosevelt Room – please gather in upper press by 1:25.

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