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Obama speaking of the people, to the people

By Hari Krishnan
|

Chicago, Dec.14 (ANI): US President-elect Barack Obama has been using his four minutes of weekend airtime not only to speak directly to the American people, but also to create news.According to the Washington Post, Obama used the address to announce Shaun Donovan, New York City's housing commissioner, as his nominee to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Obama has previously outlined a series of specific proposals aimed at reversing the nation's economic torpor, and he sketched out a plan to save or create 2.5 million jobs over the next two years.

Dan Pfeiffer, the incoming White House deputy communications director, said that Obama will continue to use the addresses "to make significant news."

That contrasts sharply with President Bush, who presented little policy or political perspective in his radio addresses.

The incoming president's approach to the address also differs in how content is presented, by marrying the 100-year-old technology of radio to 21st-century tools: The speech is still beamed out to radio stations nationwide on Saturday mornings, but now it is also recorded for digital video and audio downloads from YouTube, iTunes and the like, so people can access it whenever and wherever they like, says the paper.

That strategy speaks to a broader revolution of how Obama will communicate with the American public, said Doug Sosnik, who was a senior aide in the Clinton White House.

Turning the weekly radio address from audio to video and making it on-demand has turned the radio address from a blip on the radar to something that can be a major news making event any Saturday we choose," Pfeiffer added.

Now, instead of asking backers to register friends to vote, Obama will aim to use technological advances to build grass-roots support for policy initiatives, according to Joe Trippi, who managed former Vermont governor Howard Dean's 2004 Democratic presidential bid.

"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. (ANI)

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