Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Wired Presidency: Can Obama Really Reboot the White House?

In November, not two weeks after winning the election and still two months from becoming commander in chief, Barack Obama brought the government into the 21st century. Or at least that was what we were told when he released his first Web video address as president-elect. The clip, billed by some as a modern fireside chat, was embedded as a YouTube video on Change.gov, the incoming administration's Web site. Sitting in a leather chair, framed slightly off center from his chest up, Obama delivered a three-minute talk on the economic crisis, vlog style.

The video quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of views, and within a few days hundreds of blogs were linking to it. Obama's foray into viral video, the story went, heralded the beginning of a new era in government communication and transparency—"Franklin Roosevelt 2.0," in the words of The Huffington Post. The Washington Post proclaimed the advent of the "YouTube presidency."

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