Monday, March 2, 2009

What a Great Problem to Have

The Washington Post this morning reports that the Obama White House is having difficulty reaching its goal of an open and transparent White House web site that serves as a clear channel for communication between the president and the people (Web-Savvy Obama Team Hits Unexpected Bumps). The fast, light team that took full advantage of the web as a central part of the Obama campaign has bogged-down in a mess of old technologies and is having to cut its way through the internet age version of red tape. But they are trying.

Wherever this experiment leads, what's certain is that, in the same way Franklin D. Roosevelt harnessed the power of radio and John F. Kennedy leveraged the reach of television to directly communicate with the public, the BlackBerry-carrying Obama wants to use the Internet to redefine the relationship between the presidency and the people.

The Washington Post article does a great job of outlining the problems the Obama team has had. They have had too dial-back expectations, for now, and are learning the patience that all newcomers to government seems to have to learn.

But what a great problem to have. Here we have a White House that is straining against the bonds of tradition to try to establish a new form of openness. I plan to watch, and cheer them on, and participate where I can.

After all, it is my government.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Mahaffie: it is refreshing to read comments like yours compared to the bashing by Rush Limbaugh, Santorum, Anne Coulter etc. And probably Lou Dobb should join the above team. Obama works very hard to help his people, unfortunately some (especially from the South) do not understand. They call him "baby killer", socialist, liberal maniac and more. Should he succeed in socializing health care, the American people will not see the difference. Same thing with the banks, they should be regulated. What they did is horrible, bringing the world in a deep recession. I am Canadian and before Christmas, my husband lost a great amount of money (a lifetime saving) for his retirement. Money is gone thanks to the greedy, fraudulent, manipulator bankers. They should go to jail.

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