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Weekly Report

1. Newsweek reports that Obama has chosen Eric Holden to be the Attorney General. The D.C.-based lawyer would be the first African American Attorney General. Marc Ambinder chimes in on the persistent rumors that Hillary Clinton will be tapped as Secretary of State. They would join new Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and other new appointees (Orzag, Philips, Jarrett) to the Obama transition team.

2. On Sunday, President-elect Obama resigned from the Senate. On Monday, he met with McCain (who Roll Call claims will run for Senate in 2010) to discuss bipartisanship. Beau Biden, Joe’s son and Delaware’s Attorney General, won’t accept his father’s Senate seat.

3. As president, Obama won’t be able to use his Blackberry because of security risks; this is a step back for the first digital, tech-savvy president.

4. Job applications from change.gov, Obama’s transition site, reinforce the “No Drama Obama” message, demanding the applicants disclose any embarassing emails or diaries.  ChoicePoint, a micro targeting/datamining company, will be doing the background checks for new employees.

5. Today, Senate Democrats chided Joe Lieberman before allowing him to keep his position as the chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee (despite his speech at the Republican National Convention).

6. A good week for Sarah Palin: Times Online reports she could get as much as $7 million for a book deal, and the McCain source who tipped Fox News that Palin thought that Africa is a country and not a continent was a fake.

7. Obama discusses the economy in the nation’s first radio address on YouTube.  He will use YouTube for these weekly addresses, another presidential first.  Not everyone agrees about the significance of this.  (In my opinion, it’s not nearly as cool as the Barack Roll.)

8.  In other news: A Dartmouth student beat out the incumbent county treasurer with an investment of $51 worth of Facebook ads.  eBay will not auction free tickets, at the request of Congress. Perhaps most critically, the Obamas join Bill Cosby as the only other people allowed free food at Ben’s Chili Bowl.

9.  At home: GM, Ford and Chrysler ask Congress for a bailout for the auto industry.  Congress is still hesitant.

10.  Abroad: Somali pirates capture a Saudi supertanker with $100 million of oil, then park it offshore of fishing villages.


Hillary as Sec. of State?

So, I know that the marathon that was Campaign 2008 has left some worn out and sick of political coverage. But, I am really curious to know what you all think of all the chatter about Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. In lieu of class this week, can we get a discussion going on here??

Here are a few articles on the subject:




White House 2.0

For next week’s non-class, I’d like you to read some articles about “Government 2.0” and “White House 2.0” and then blog about what you’d like to see the Obama White House take on come January in terms of social engagement and social media. Draw upon everything you’ve learned so far in class and think about what the Obama campaign was most successful doing web-wise this year already.

Here‘s some reading to get you started. Make sure to read this transparency report (PDF) as well as this article and watch this video with my friend David Almacy, who was the White House e-communications director, and this lengthy interview.

We’re in a new world. How should the White House reflect that?

For the week of Thanksgiving, I’d encourage you to do your weekly blog post as a reflection back on the campaign. Think about what the most significant achievements were of this campaign, what was most ground-breaking, and what surprised you.

For the final class on December 3rd, come prepared with questions for the illustrious Joe Trippi. For that week’s blog post, think back to Trippi’s book (particularly the second half that’s more about how to use these tools) and answer this question: Could a frontrunner candidate successfully use the internet or is it inherently a tool of insurgent candidates? I’m really excited he’ll be our guest and I’m sure he’ll be entertaining.

At this point, I’m not going to worry about your blogs until December 3rd so don’t worry too much about when precisely you get them posted (although it’d be smart of you not to leave them all until December 2nd). Make sure you’re fully caught up that night.

You should have at least 16 entries (12 weekly posts and 4 of your choosing) and at least 20 del.icio.us links. And during our long break here, Katy, Molly, and Paul, don’t forget your weekly reports along the way! That’s 10 percent of your grade and I’d hate for you to forget about it.

Stay tuned for an email from me about the final paper.


So, um, I completely forgot to post your assignments for the week. My sincere apologies. For this week’s class, you’re supposed to be reading about datamining and micro-targeting. In addition to the Applebee’s America reading, please read these articles.

Also, if you’re up for up, dive into Newsweek’s 50,000-word article about the campaign. It’s REALLY long, yet very engaging reading. There’s not necessarily a ton of tech-specific in it, but key to understanding how this particular race was won.

Your blog topic for the week: Should we be okay with micro-targeting? Is the trade-off in personal privacy worth getting more specific and tailored political messages?

Be sure to check out change.gov.

Weekly Report

1. Obama-mercial

Obama’s prime time spot last Wednesday was the most watched program of the night, with 33.5 million viewers. Many pundits argued about the impact that this very expensive campaign tactic would have on the election. It’s looking like something has worked. Later that night, Obama held two rallies in Florida and appeared on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, which enjoyed its largest audience ever, 3.6 million viewers.

2. Obama Pulls Reporters from Plane

With five days left until the election, Fox News reports that Obama has pulled three reporters, from McCain-endorsing papers from his campaign plane. The reporters from The Washington Times, The New York Post, and The Dallas Morning News have tried to cause an uproar over this move. The Obama camp says that the move comes from a desire to reach a national audience, which, they say, these papers do not.

3. Palin Gets Prank called

4. Palin Not Guilty on Ethics Charges

On Monday, a report from the state board was released that has cleared Gov. Palin of the charges that she violated state ethics laws when she fired the public safety commissioner.

5. Presidential Transition 2.0

As this campaign has shown, the Internet and new media are here to stay. How will the new president use these tools in his tenure? TechPresident  shares some thoughts.

6. Facebook Effect

President Senator Barack Obama garnered almost 400,000 new friends on Facebook over the pase two weeks, bringing his total to nearly 2.4 million. McCain’s total: about 620,000. Let’s see if these facebookers are (1) able to vote and (2) actually do vote.

7. FiveThiryEight Final Projection

FiveThirtyEight filed their final polls and projections this morning. Electoral College vote split: Obama, 349 and McCain, 189.

8. Karl Rove’s Electoral Map

The consummate Republican strategist issues his final projections with an Obama victory, days behind his endorsement of John McCain. Rove projects that Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania all go to Obama.

9. Redskins Rule

Following the past 17 presidential elections, there is a myth that conflates sports and politics. It is said that if the Redskins win the last home game before Election day, the incumbent party stays in the White House. The Pittsburgh Steelers clobbered the Skins, 23-6 at FedEx Field on Monday Night Football. Funny that the loss came from a team in a swing state.

10. Election Etiquette

TheRoot.com and Slate.com joined today to discuss Election Etiquette. Slate compiled a list of five things White people can’t do if Obama wins. And The Root did the same for black people.

Election Time!

Your assignment for next week’s class is pretty straightforward: Pay really close attention to the election. There’s a wealth of information and resources coming down to the wire and I want you to read as widely and as much as you can. For your blog entry, on election night find somewhere to watch the returns come in and sit down in front of your computer (or, if you’re partying, make some notes for later) and watch how the election plays out online. Which sites did you use to follow the election results? What signs of the internet’s impact do you see in the traditional media’s coverage? Do you see bloggers on TV? Do you see reporters turning to the web for information?

Think back to four years ago, where are you turning to information on Tuesday night that you didn’t use in 2004? Your Twitter feed? Your iPhone? Tuesday night should be a good case study for you in just how much the world has changed in just four years.

As for election night itself, here’s the Washingtonian’s guide to election night parties.

Also: Don’t forget that your blog needs to be entirely caught up by Wednesday’s class. If you’re missing an entry, your blog report, or a weekly report, it needs to be done by Wednesday or it won’t be accepted.

Weekly Report

Check out Fernando’s weekly report over at his blog.