Political Wire: President Obama "has fundamentally shifted his view of modern presidential power" and "is now convinced the most essential part of his job, given politically divided Washington, is rallying public opinion to his side. As a result, if he wins a second term, Mr. Obama plans to remain in campaign mode." He's quoting a WSJ article, which unfortunately is behind a paywall.
This is the most sigificant thing I've read about his presidency. He realizes now that he has to be in full-time campaign mode. That's the power of the presidency. You'll have no leverage with Congress unless they know you have the voters on your side. All he had to do to understand this is read a little history about the most effective presidents. They were the ones who had open channels of communication to the electorate, and used them well.
This is, btw, the one valid part of the Republican campaign. When they said he wasn't showing leadership, I didn't know what they meant until Christie's speech at the RNC. "Real leaders don't follow polls. Real leaders change polls," he said. He was absolutely right. A president who doesn't get that is one who isn't using his power effectively. Then there's the question of what the president would use the power for, and that's where I can't go with the Repubs. They would try to take us back to some fantasy United States that never existed.
Today is different. We're switching the way economics, communication and war work. The military that the Repubs wants to double-down on is, as always, designed to fight the wrong war. The next war will not involve terrorism or huge armies, you can attack the infrastructure of your enemy and cripple them with algorithms, code and passwords.
Back to the bully pulpit of the president of the United States. The unique opportunity now is that communication doesn't have to be 1-way. This is where media hackers come in. I hope they open their doors and minds to us so we can get involved, not just as voters, but as innovators. This is why I was so disappointed when I saw the whitehouse website in January 2009. It told me everything I needed to know about what they didn't understand or want to put into practice.
It's like everything. Just getting funded doesn't mean your business is successful. The hard part is yet to come. You can practice medicine after getting your degree, but whether you're a great doctor is still yet to be determined. Getting elected President is a huge accomplishment, but that's just where teh fun starts. And it's not just the Republicans you have to get to line up, you have to get members of your own party to do it too.
This was all covered on the West Wing, btw. :-)
One more thing. If you're good at communicating the Repubs know what to do then -- they'll impeach your ass. So be prepared for that too. OK?
PS: Seeing the President on Reddit was a very positive sign, btw.
PPS: Doc Searls could play the mature Teddy Roosevelt in the movies.