NYT: Obama needs to share more
January 25, 2011, 05:17 PM
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Matt Bai in the New York Times worries that poor President Obama isn't successfully bypassing the traditional media:
For Obama, Getting Message Out Online is a Challenge Truly taking the presidency online would not only enable Mr. Obama to get his message to some voters without passing through the traditional news media.
Because the establishment media has always been so skeptical and unfriendly toward Obama that he needs to go around them to connect directly with the average voter.
Mr. Obama is probably the most talented writer to occupy the office in the television age; his political career was made possible, in large part, by the candid memoir he wrote as a younger man.
"Candid" is about the last word that comes to mind for "Dreams from My Father." The book sold 11,000 copies in the nine years up until he became a superstar at the 2004 Democratic convention. It's sold millions of copies since then, although I doubt that millions of people have finished it. I doubt if his memoir was a net benefit to his political career at all. It didn't hurt much because it was written in such an opaque style as to be unquotable, but it didn't help much other than to reconfirm the "What a fine young gentleman" feelings that many people already felt for him after seeing him on TV.
So it is hard to understand why the president hasn't tried to use that talent the way Mr. Kennedy capitalized on his personal charm. You can easily imagine Mr. Obama sitting in front of a keyboard at the end of a long day, briefly reflecting on the oddity of a personal encounter or on the meaning of some overlooked event, or perhaps describing what it is like to stand in the well of Congress and deliver the State of the Union address. It could be that in order to expand the reach and persuasiveness of the modern presidency, Mr. Obama simply needs to be his online self - not so much a blogger as a memoirist-in-chief, walking us through history in real time.
Yeah, but that would cut into the vital time he devotes to having a cig, watching ESPN SportsCenter, getting in a quick 18 holes, stepping out for a smoke, shooting hoops, taking a mental health break for a smoke, daydreaming, etc etc.

The idea that Obama wants to share his thoughts unfiltered and unvetted with the American public is ridiculously naive. It took him four years to get Dreams from My Father finished. He, in effect, stole part of a large advance by not delivering it to the original publisher. The manuscript for his second book was vetted by 28 experts before being sent to the publisher. Do you really think he wants to have to have more Beer Summits over him revealing his inner feelings?

What he is good at is the occasional set piece oration that he's rigorously prepared for, like tonight's speech, where he gets to tap into all the good will in America toward eloquent black men. That, and being tongue-bathed by the press. In contrast, the more we see of him on a mundane basis, the more we notice that there's not all that much there.

Nigeria's leader, Goodluck Jonathan, has been called the "Facebook president" for posting his own frequent meditations for a country of 44 million Internet users.
Yeah, my spambox is already full of messages from Lea Abiba Mangou, Mbebe  John, Thompsons Ngowa, and Barack Obama, all asking for my help. I think Obama should definitely step up his efforts there.

C'mon, the Real Obama didn't get elected President in 2008, that was the Fake Obama, a collective delusion. The Real Obama has no intention of running in 2012 as the Real Obama, either.