Total White House Visits By Former IRS Head Shulman Now at 157 and Climbing
On Wednesday the Daily Caller reported that former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the Obama White House a total of 157 times in the three years and four months beginning September 16, 2009 and ending on January 31, 2013. This represents an increase in the number of reported Shulman visits to the White House by 39 from the 118 visits he made in the two year period beginning in January 2010 and ending in December 2011.
The total number of Obama White House visits made by Mr. Shulman is likely to be greater than the 157 reported by the Daily Caller. The White House has yet to release its visitor log during the eight months beginning on January 20, 2009, when President Obama was inaugurated, and September 16, 2009, when it began publicly reporting visitor access.
Shulman, who donated $500 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004, was appointed IRS Commissioner by President Bush in March 2008 and resigned in November 2012.
During the 3 year and four month period beginning September 16, 2009 and ending January 31, 2013, Shulman visited the Obama White House almost twice as many times as any other current or former member of the Obama cabinet. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank made 86 visits, Assistant Attorney General and current Labor Secretary nominee Thomas Perez made 83 visits, and current Commerce Secretary nominee Penny Pritzker made 76 visits.
Several far more prominent members of the Obama cabinet visited the Obama White House significantly fewer times than Shulman during this period. Attorney General Eric Holder made only 62 public visits, former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and current HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius each made 48 visits, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made only 43 visits.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made 34 visits, Education Secretary Arne Duncan made 31 visits, former Energy Secretary Steven Chu made 22 visits and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates made 17 visits.
Shulman's White House itinerary--a rate of almost one visit a week for three years and four months--dwarves those of far more senior Obama administration cabinet members.
At hearings in the House of Representatives last week, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) asked Shulman a question that has been on a lot of minds since the scale of his Obama White House visits has been revealed: "What would be some of the reasons you might be at the White House?"
Mr. Shulman offered little assistance in solving that riddle. "Um, the Easter Egg Roll with my kids," was his first response. Subsequently, he added that he also discussed "[q]uestions about the administrability of tax policy [the White House was] thinking of; our budget; us helping the Department of Education streamline application processes for financial aid."