The Reinvention of the Presidency, Continued

NDN appears in some stories today which further explore an idea we've begun discussing over the last few weeks - how the tools candidate Obama used to reinvent how a Presidential campaign is run will be used to reinvent the Presidency. You can find more on this subject, including a video essay I posted on Friday that takes a more extended look at all this exciting opportunity. 

Check out these new stories in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Houston Chronicle, and an Agence-France Press story, running throughout the world, including on America's number one news site, Yahoo News.  It contains this passage which will give you a sense of what we might expect:

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Barack Obama's Internet-savvy campaign team will revolutionize White House communications like late president Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) did with the radio, according to NDN think tank president Simon Rosenberg.

"Senator Obama just ran the first true campaign of the 21st Century using these internet tools to help organize his supporters and fight on a new battlefied of modern politics, said the veteran of former president Bill Clinton's 1992 election campaing.

"He reivented the model of advocacy," he added of the Indiana Senator who on Tuesday won became the first US black president elect.

Obama's campaign team used the Web to organize volunteers and in fundraising, dealing a decisive victory over his Republican rival John McCain, who resorted to more traditional methods of communications.

Rosenberg said the incoming US administration had significantly revamped political communications in the country and lowered the barrier to entry into politics for everyday people.

"It allows a much more meaningful participation by our citizens in their politics and democracy. We saw an enormous surge of civic participation in America this year, in terms of people giving money and voting.

"All future campaigns in America will be run on this people-based internet model Obama ran," he said.

He said the use of modern 21st-century tools will bring "an enormous reinvention" of the US presidency, as the radio did in the first half of the last century.

"FDR was using the radio in a very powerful way to establish his power in his country. In the US, now, every Saturday morning the president does a radio address.

"My assumption is that it will now be a Youtube address that will be translated in the principal languages of the world: Spanish, French, Arabic, Farsi and others.

"This way (the president) will be adressing not only his own citizens but the citizens of the world.

Rosenberg said the new technology will not only change the relationship betwen the US president and his own people, "it is going to change the American relationship to all the world ...

"It's going to be exciting to some governments, not so exciting to others."

As to whether the White House will be setting an example for other democracies to follow, Rosenberg predicted first there would be "a period of massive experimentation not only in the US but also in the rest of the world.

"Every elected leader in the world is going to want to try to use these tools at their own advantage there is no doubt about this.

"David Cameron, the leader of the Tories (in Britain), has done amazing YouTube videos way more creative than anything anybody in the US has done," Rosenberg said.


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