Technobama: Technology in the Oval Office
With just 57 days before Obama brings much-needed change to the government, the Secret Service is trying to bring some change to Obama.
The role of U.S. president brings with it many luxuries: a staff of aides and interns to meet one’s every need, a luxurious house with a great front yard, and the ability to command the attention of nearly every person on the planet; cell phones, however, are not permitted. Especially not Internet-powered, feed-reading, e-mailing cell phones, where the entire power of the web could be right at the tips of the president’s thumbs.
So is this the end of Obama’s relationship with his Blackberry? We hope not. One of the strongest parts of his campaign was his almost too-exquisite use of technology, from his perfectly designed websites to his announcements made by text message. And the Obama team’s understanding of technology clearly did not end with his transition to president-elect. Their website, www.change.gov, maintains all the trademarks of an Obama site: not just beauty and style, but the tech-savviness to allow anyone who is interested to apply for a job with the new administration, all online.
Probably the most forward-thinking move of his transition to the presidency has been Obama’s new “Weekly Address from the President-Elect.” These are short, less than five-minute videos posted straight to YouTube every Friday (yet also available in high-res), where Obama presents an issue or item of progress that occurred that week.
While we admit that the technological road is not without perils — the government is concerned with hackers breaking into Obama’s accounts in the wake of Verizon employees being fired last Friday for digging into his call records — we believe he can bring more technology into the Oval Office than ever before. Even if he must move forward with a four-year (dare we suggest eight?) hiatus from his Blackberry, maybe he will be the first president to occasionally respond to e-mails, or at least be able to host a laptop on his desk. Technology tends to move faster than politics, but we believe this administration might be able to close that gap.