Obama’s Web Outreach


Transition officials call it Obama 2.0 — an ambitious effort to transform the president-elect’s vast Web operation and database of supporters into a modern new tool to accomplish his goals in the White House. If it works, the new president could have an unprecedented ability to appeal for help from millions of Americans who already favor his ideas, bypassing the news media to pressure Congress.

“He’s built the largest network anyone has ever seen in politics, and congressional Republicans are clueless about the communications shift that has happened,” Democratic strategist Joe Trippi proclaims. The results, he says, “will be amazing to watch.”

Republicans say they’ll be watching for White House Web outreach that appears overly political.

My concern is the same as the Republicans.

I will be part of Obama’s network once he is president, so I’ll get his e-mails, and that should be fun. But if those e-mails are sent to try to help the president in an overtly political way, I’ll be pissed.

But if President Obama learns to harness the power of the internet in a way that leads to more effective governing, I’ll be really pleased. It will be nice to have a president who is tech-savvy.

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