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Obama Moves to Revolutionize White House Communications

In today's Post, we look at how President-elect Barack Obama is using a long-ignored medium -- the weekly radio address -- to make news.

By videotaping the address and making it available on You Tube, the campaign has ensured that hundreds of thousands of people will see the president-elect, as compared to a relative dearth who listened to the address (broadcast Saturday mornings at 11:06 am) in the past.

"One of the fundamental precepts of our campaign was to use the new technology to reinvigorate our democracy. That's a commitment we will bring to this administration," senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said.

Raising the profile of the radio/video address part of a broader communications approach by the incoming president designed to take advantage of the technological tools at his disposal -- video on demand being the most prominent -- to ensure his messages are being seen by the broadest possible audience.

Doug Sosnik, a senior adviser to former President Bill Clinton, said that Obama's emphasis on the digital marks a communications shift in the White House not seen in decades.

"The mainframe for this White House will be the Internet, not TV," Sosnik said. "They will cater to TV. And it will be integrated into the overall digital strategy. But it's not going to be the end-all."

The challenge for Obama is to turn the massive grassroots army he built during the primary season into a potent policy-oriented advocacy organization via the Internet, according to Joe Trippi, widely seen as one of the true innovators when it comes to using the web in politics.

"Obama will be more directly connected to millions of Americans than any president who has come before him, and he will be able to communicate directly to people using the social networking and Web-based tools such as YouTube that his campaign mastered," Trippi said. "Obama's could become the most powerful presidency that we have ever seen."

Make sure to read the full piece. (Read it! The Fix needs the page views.)

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 14, 2008; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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How cool is this. I'm not saying this because of Obama's move to YouTube...but towards TRANSPARENCY. The possibility of listening to a president who can speak grammatically and compellingly will get me online.

Contrast this communications approach with Dubya's LACK of transparency. Transparency is implicit in Obama's approach because YouTube statements live on forever.

Proof of the difference between the two administrations is that the only YouTube videos we have from the last 8 years are ones highlighting the funbling of George W....and now Cheney's admission that he okayed waterboarding. Now there's a legacy to be proud of.

Posted by: bweyand1 | December 16, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I liked when all the drunk students - in line at the Taco Bell drive thru - got the V.P. announcement for Biden --- Obama is good at building suspense and excitement, but can he deliver an interesting, decipherable message? They are like, who's Joe Biden? People will quickly tire of this routine, we have more entertainment choices than when FDR broadcast radio fireside chats.

We are a nation that is quickly bored, particularly with the patently boring.

Posted by: newbeeboy | December 15, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Interesting note asking us to read the full article, since the Fix needs the page views.

I had already read the full article in the print edition of the paper. It's really good and I recommend others read it, whether online or in print.

But it's telling (though understandable) that the readers that now count more for the Post are the ones online. Even though we print subscribers are supporting this enterprise, there's no logical, automatic way for you to know I read the article in my print edition this morning, and it must be easy to see if I read it online.

It's a shame that the print readers (or hybrid print/online readers) are undercounted this way, but I don't know how to solve that riddle. Rest assured, though, that I made a point of going to the online article as well so that my actual reading of the article (in print) would be known to the Post (online).

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | December 15, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: thepricewrites | December 15, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

To Thatsnuts:
I understand your stance on this issue about the birth certificate but ya gotta let this go, Man. Obama is here to stay. Now is the time to support, not undermine efforts to make our lives better.

I think your tenacity would be better spent focusing on some of the problems regarding our immediate lives. You seem to have the ability to research which could prove beneficial in another area.

Give it your best shot...why not research your local DOT practices and policies? From that knowledge, how might you help solve the problem of a lacking transportation infrastructure? Maybe you could become involved in local efforts to create a plan to begin employing some of the jobless and get them actively rejuvenating our transportation system. Our cities and towns are in desperate need of good roads and local transportation systems.

Seriously...whatever your professional background, why not volunteer or sign up on the register and begin to activate positive changes instead of beating this dead horse.Maybe it's time for you to participate instead of pontificate. Your talents would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: rjs_donal | December 15, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

This is magnificent news. We'll give the biggest gift of democracy to our children and future generations since the signing of the Declaration of Independence by stepping into this new century via the internet.

People are naturally resistant to change. I'd wager that in your own experience with "change",the most definitive and beneficial turning points have come about when your back was against the wall and "change" was the only thing that could resolve or remedy the situation. Personally, those difficult times in my life have resulted in breaking thru the resistance to upsetting my comfort zone and allowing great personal progress. "Change" had to happen.

If we as individuals embrace this gigantic opportunity to move forward with the 21st century employing changes that will connect us as a nation, if we allow ourselves to be moved thru the resistance from our current knowledge base and comfort zones, we will connect with a world that is full of growth. YouTube has made us all laugh, cry, wonder,connect and share. Whoddathunk it would help us govern better? :)

We will invite new avenues for communication,development and involvement. This country can become a community of leaders in more than economy,technology, democracy and diplomacy. We can all become part of the CHANGE to unite our nation and our world.

Wouldn't it be great if from Obama's lead, other levels of government will also follow example? Thru that change we can become fully engaged in the process of government, locally and nationally, along the way. Talk about transparency! You might actually learn not just who is running for governor in your state but who your local alderman is and how he/she votes on your behalf. Instead of just "cramming" for an election, we might actually have 4 years in a front row seat not just watching but participating, exchanging our views and votes via this incredible tool....the internet.

Think about it...could you live without it now? It's become my daily connection with the world at large. Why fight it? Instead embrace it! Why be left behind? Without it, you might never have followed the words of Chris Cillizza! SHOCKING!! LOL
WLYC...(we love you Chris)

It's time to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. In the words of Cheryl Crow..."Change Is Good".

BRAVO...generations to follow will thank us! Let's make it work.

Posted by: rjs_donal | December 15, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"And where is that birth certificate?

And on which country's passport did Obama travel in 1981???" 37th& 0.

Geeez,0, your not even trying anymore! The birth certificate issue is dead to all but you. Regarding #2. instead of posting a "Jeopardy" question why not give us the answer. If you know it!. If not, why not spend your energy getting the facts? Perhaps the RNC can't afford your efforts anymore!?

Posted by: Thatsnuts | December 15, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

To the poster at 10:00

Until I get some reinforcements around here, I have to shoot in all direction at once.

In contrast, I attempt to limit my remarks to defense - when someone attacks me personally, I respond.

Attacks will not go without a response.

And where is that birth certificate?

And on which country's passport did Obama travel in 1981???




Posted by: 37thandORules | December 15, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse


Please read the comments posted on this forum from the summer up until now before you make such a silly remark.

Thank you.




Posted by: 37thandORules | December 15, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The Obama team is vastly more web savvy that the average political group. This is probably only the beginning of what will be a real 21st century communications plan. Definitely the kind of thing that could revolutionize government, if carried to its logical end.

Posted by: dbitt | December 15, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Thatsnuts.

Posted by: dbitt | December 15, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"Clearly you do not understand the point - the Obama people are constantly harassing other posters on the internet - they are HOSTILE toward the exercise of Free Speech if those posters do not agree with the Obama point of view." by 37th & 0

No, I understand the point. It is harrassment. This is a thing I see you doing with regularity. Why is it okay for you and not others.

And just once, would you try to keep a posting to one issue. When you go off shotgun style your thoughts are scattered and unfocused. That makes it more difficult to take your posting seriously. yours truly, Thatsnuts...

Posted by: Thatsnuts | December 15, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

It’s ridiculous to see people on this blog accuse Obama of trying to silence the American public through using Blogs and YouTube!
One person says ” The Obama people HATE the Constitution because it allowed the slave trade and provided the basis for Dred Scott and a few other Supreme Court decisions which they do not like." 37th&O”
Hate is a strong word, and to claim someone else is hateful of anyone is a copout! You will never be forced to prove your assertion!
But what you can prove is that Obama one the election and that technology was used in the same manner in which it is used in THE USA everyday! To get out your message!
My prediction is that Obama’s message will change American’s inability to work together as humans from the most powerful country on earth, into a group of people that no longer look to divide their selves by color or religion.

Posted by: vicbennettnet | December 15, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

To the poster at 7:57

Clearly you do not understand the point - the Obama people are constantly harassing other posters on the internet - they are HOSTILE toward the exercise of Free Speech if those posters do not agree with the Obama point of view.

The hostility does go directly to the Constitution as well.

The Obama people are seeking to SILENCE their critics - not engage them in a debate.

The Obama people had three times the advertising budget as McCain in October - do not expect that kind of advantage to last forever.

The Obama people appear to believe that turning off the credit card verification features on a computer, creating an advertising advantage yields a permanent advantage and that everyone else should accept that and walk way - what a complete joke.




Posted by: 37thandORules | December 15, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"The Obama people CLEARLY have an aversion to the Constitutional Freedoms which define us as American.

The Obama people HATE the Constitution because it allowed the slave trade and provided the basis for Dred Scott and a few other Supreme Court decisions which they do not like." 37th&O

Wow, old 37th has really lost it. Who could love a section of a legal document which legalizes slavery, only 37th &0. Who could love a legal decision by the supreme court which not only sanctioned slavery but created legal excuses for it? only 37th &0.

Lastly, who is left grasping at straws, helplessly hoping his harlequin hovers nearby....37th&, what a sad and desperate character.

Posted by: Thatsnuts | December 15, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse


The only "revolutionary" thing the Obama people have done in communications is attempt to silence the opposition.

First they chased away the Hillary people at the Daily Kos.

Then they employed 300 paid bloggers at their headquarters to harass and annoy internet posters who did not agree with the Obama positions.

These tactics are about as ANTI-AMERICAN as they come.

This nation was founded on Freedoms - Freedom of Speech - and the lively debate in this nation.

The Obama people CLEARLY have an aversion to the Constitutional Freedoms which define us as American.

The Obama people HATE the Constitution because it allowed the slave trade and provided the basis for Dred Scott and a few other Supreme Court decisions which they do not like.

This line of thought is all over the Obama camp, in particular with Michele Obama, and it is repulsive.

The Black Liberation Theology will pop back up - watch out for that.

Already it was wrong for anyone to say Obama's middle name during the campaign - OH BUT WHEN HE GETS SWORN IN OBAMA WANTS THE ENTIRE MUSLIM WORLD TO HEAR IT.






Posted by: 37thandORules | December 15, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse


Interesting take on Free Debate within a Free Society

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Why don't you make your points and support them with reasoning instead of constantly attacking other posters??

Is that what the latte liberals are all about now?

What a fool - do you want to destroy democracy itself as well ?? Do you want to cancel all future elections? Your comments are about as anti-American as they come.




Posted by: 37thandORules | December 15, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse


Everyone has called for an end to racism in the workplace - in fact it is against the law.

what is wrong with you?

The problem come in when the the word "racism" is used to gain an unfair advantage - or to blame a horrible job performance on one's race.

Do a great job, no one will complain, they will want that person around.

Everyone is calling for an end to affirmative action - promoting people who are not qualified ahead of people who have earned the promotion.

A major problem in today's economy is many corporations have hired and promoted underqualified people - and when the time came for them to do the job, a mess was created.

Seriously - the economy is littered with positions filled with people who do not belong there - people who KNOW they did not get their job through earning it but through affirmative action.

This system places the premium on more affirmation action programs - because those people look to the next affirmative action program at the next job for their advancement - their personal skills and personal performance are secondary.

That creates a misallocation of effort and time in the economy -





Posted by: 37thandORules | December 15, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Its interesting how you always hear people calling for an end to affirmative action, but never hear people calling for an end to racism in the workplace or "legacy" policies and nepotism.

Posted by: PeixeGato1 | December 14, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Ho ho ho, 37'th and O is not yet reconciled to reality. What a fate, to demonstrate to the world that rigid adherence to Republican talking points is actually a form of mental illness.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 14, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse






You left out the part about the probability that Obama is a citizen of Indonesia, a Muslim country.


Obama admitted that he traveled to Pakistan and three other nations in 1981 - the only problem is that it was illegal to travel to Pakistan on a US passport that year. AND there are indications that Obama has never had a US passport prior to becoming a US Senator.

So what gives?

It is possible that Obama was enrolled in Columbia as a foreign student - that he was an Indonesian citizen at the time - that would explain how he traveled to Pakistan and the other nations - on an Indonesian passport.

However that would make Obama an Indonesia citizen.

There are no records of Obama re-applying for US citizenship after being an Indonesian citizen.

At the time, there was no treaty allows duel citizenship - so Obama's parent would have had to have renounced any claims Obama had to US citizenship in order for Obama to become an Indonesian citizen and in order to get an Indonesian passport.

This really may not have been much of a problem for Obama's mother because she would have known that Obama was born in Keyna and Obama would have lost any claims to being British subject when he turned 18.

IN other words, Obama's mother found it convenient to get Obama an Indonesian citizenship and schooling in Indonesia with her second husband.

OK Obama can end all this speculation at any time by releasing all the paperwork.

Broadwayjoe and all you jokers out there - you should all be calling for TRANSPARENCY - not making excuses for the obamaaniacs.





Posted by: 37thandORules | December 14, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

"Obama could be putting together some sort of Unity Government - complete with Gates - in order to prepare the nation for his withdrawl due to his pending announcement that he was born in Keyna"

I just want to pay less taxes, have more effective government, for political correctness and affirmative action to end. I hope that one day people wake up and realize that the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act degraded our culture, ruined our economy and needs to be repealed.

On the other hand, I'm a realist and am going to go with the flow. As they say "He who rocks the boat seldom rows it." Or, "When life gives you lemons make lemonade."

Therefore, I try to look at all this talke about Unity government from a positive perspective. For instance, I find Filipino and Indoesian women kind of hot so that's coo. Plus, if I can hop on a plane and meet up with some hot Russian chicks that would be cool too. To be honest women from foreign countries are really easy to get along with compared to American women. I'm almost convincing myself to become an Obamabot. Okay, maybe not.

Posted by: Tom22 | December 14, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse






You are correct, Obama's cabinet is poor Obama gets no more than a "D" for this effort - affirmative action trolls is a great way to put it as well.

Obama is a disgrace.

However there is one possibility which remains -

AND as Sherlock Holmes said when you eliminate all the impossible, if there is one possibility left, no matter how improbable, then it is correct.

Obama could be putting together some sort of Unity Government - complete with Gates - in order to prepare the nation for his withdrawl due to his pending announcement that he was born in Keyna. In that situation, the country would have a difficult time accepting Joe Biden as President and if all the leading democrats were already in the cabinet, it may help. Clearly Obama has to explain where he got the passport he traveled on in 1981 and that answer leads to obvious evidence that he was (or is) a citizen of another nation, possibly Muslim Indonesia.





Posted by: 37thandORules | December 14, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

BTW, my post regarding the Cabinet was SARCASM. Anyone with half a brain could look at an Executive Branch containing Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, etc. and then look at a bunch of Affirmative Action trolls and yes men and quickly see that it was sarcasm.

These people do OK when everything is going good and the rising tide lifts all ships. But, when the chips are down and we need smart, capable people I think many of these people simply aren't up to the challenge.

Anyone, with a bit of common sense could easily tell that the major economic policies being advocated by BOTH the Republicans and Democrats amount to nothing more than "pushing a string." So, you just have to sit back and watch as housing prices go lower, the Dow goes lower, and unemployment goes up. Larry Kudlow has recently "called the bottom" so that means we probably still have a long way to go before we hit the real bottom.

Posted by: Tom22 | December 14, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

you be one of the obamabots looking to report me to Big Brother? No thanks.

Posted by: Tom22 | December 14, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse


Tom who are you?

Posted by: 37thandORules | December 14, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Our Diversity is OUR Strength.

This is the Cabinet of President-Elect Barack Obama and his Vice President Joseph Biden:

TREASURY SECRETARY: Timothy Geithner, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

SECRETARY OF STATE: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
White Christian Female

ATTORNEY GENERAL: Eric Holder, former deputy attorney general.

DEFENSE SECRETARY: Robert Gates, holdover from Bush administration.


NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Retired Marine Gen. James Jones.

COMMERCE SECRETARY: Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.

NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR: Lawrence Summers, former treasury secretary.

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIRECTOR: Peter Orszag, director of Congressional Budget Office.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY: Retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki.


Here is the original cabinet of the United States for President George Washington and his Vice President John Adams:

Secretary of State: Thomas Jefferson.

Secretary of the Treasury: Alexander Hamilton.

Secretary of War: Henry Knox.

Attorney General: Edmund Randolph.

Don't all those White Christian Slave Owner Guys suck. What a bunch of racist bigot idiots.

Posted by: Tom22 | December 14, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"'One of the fundamental precepts of our campaign was to use the new technology to reinvigorate our democracy. That's a commitment we will bring to this administration,' senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said."

Translations: Whenever we screw up we'll be able to very quickly activate the Mobocracy (Obamabots) and Obama Cheerleaders (Washing Post 'Journalists) to make sure anything we do wrong is mired in obfuscation.

Posted by: Tom22 | December 14, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

This is all great stuff, and I agree that the idea of a viral presidential address is certainly revolutionary. But nobody's watching Obama. Look at the number of viewings on YouTube for his recent videos and they're all going down.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | December 14, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

New technology .. same old politics.

Posted by: newbeeboy | December 14, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse









Blagojevich, in other words, assumed Obama would appoint his wife to a Board for the political favor of selecting Valerie Jarrett for the Senate seat. Blagojevich is not a stupid man.

Indeed, he only assumed Obama would participate in this “pay to play” scheme, for he knows Obama is acutely aware how the game is played in Illinois and in Chicago. This explains why Blagojevich mentions Michelle Obama and her lack of qualifications to serve on the Board of TreeHouse Foods when he discusses how Obama could appoint Mrs. Blagojevich to a Board for the political favor of appointing Jarrett to the US Senate seat.

Michelle, after all, was appointed to sit on the Board of TreeHouse foods AFTER Obama was elected to the US Senate. Moreover, Michelle Obama’s salary at The University of Chicago nearly TRIPLED after her husband gained the power to submit earmark requests on her employer’s behalf. Just appoint the spouse to a Board and increase his or her salary if you need a political favor from an Illinois politician.





Posted by: 37thandORules | December 14, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse





No more snoozing though the radio address? Now we have to ignore the YouTube Video

Somehow I find it unlikely that the Obamaniacs will go to YouTube on a weekly basis for the Obama-fix.

And what was the deal when Michele Obama's salary tripled?

Do you know anyone who had their salary triple???





Posted by: 37thandORules | December 14, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

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