A few years ago I discovered a TV series called, “The West Wing.” It was a fictional account of how people worked behind the scenes in the White House. I loved this show! It was the first close to real life depiction of the White House staffers, all the characters were well cast, and the story lines were eerily believable as a reflection of current national and international events in the early 2000’s.
The show only ran for 4 seasons and yet it gave us a better perspective on how difficult life can be while supporting a president. The people surrounding the president often have no life at home – their jobs are all-consuming. I think that most people could do that for a short time, but imagine doing that for 8 years if the president served two terms.
So as a result of my West Wing surfing, I ended up on the real White House web site and found out they have a blog. I think this is the first for a president and I wanted to read up on what they might write in a blog. They were scheduling a West Wing live chat with White House videographer Arun Chaudhary. That would have been so cool to participate in if I had known about it in time.
I think it is very cool that our current president has embraced technology and is using the web site, a blog, Twitter and Facebook to communicate with the public. I think that technology like online chat software makes it easy for the citizens to feel like they have a voice and have a chance to get questions answered. Until now, most people have had to be satisfied with writing on old fashioned letter on paper and putting it in the mail. Who knows if the President actually ever reads any of those letters? I’m sure he has paid staffers who sort through the thousands of letters he must receive every day. Maybe they prepare a little summary of the most popular topics for him to read over his morning coffee, or maybe they pick 10 letters at random. I am sure they have some method of keeping the President informed without overwhelming him with letters and other messages.
I like that they had the Twitter forum with President Obama last month. And I like the blog. I just wish he had more support from this bi-partisan Congress that is giving him so much trouble with the budget.