Improving the Silence…The Obama Communications Doctrine
There’s something vitally important going on. An American President is actually communicating with the nation and the rest of the world. And what’s more, he is doing so effectively in many creative and innovative ways. Rather than being criticized for over exposure, President Obama should earn high marks for talking directly to the people during one of this nation’s most difficult hours.
From weekly You Tube presentations to web sites ending in .gov…from articles written by the President and his staff and e-mails to supporters as if the campaign was still in high gear, to multiple interviews, appearances, speeches and press conferences at a dizzying pace, we are not used to this kind of direct audio/visual contact from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
This White House is excited about communications and is shaping the new world of political outreach in ways that we could only have imagined a few years ago. Let’s call it The Obama Communications Doctrine.
The desire of President Obama to avoid “the bubble” and express his thoughts domestically is also reflected in a foreign policy based upon expressing and encouraging meaningful exchanges to encourage progress on complex issues. The opening to Iran to discuss regional issues, headed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is but one example of how foreign policy amplifies this fresh approach toward talking with our friends and foes alike. The Adminstration’s media blitz is nothing less than a form of invirogated domestic and international diplomancy. It engages us…and more and more Americans are engaged in policy discussions because our President is reaching out to us with a vigor not seen in generations.
What’s strikingly different about this new government its belief in dialogue. There’s a conversation going on here. The more we exchange dialogue, the more we learn about other viewpoints and the complex dimensions of issues. What we are witnessing is nothing less than a political and policy based re-birth of the art of talking and listening.
Never before has Main Street had the opportunity to communicate to the Chief Executive with such speed and clarity. Those with comments and questions, concerns, criticisms and viewpoints can address Washington instantly by using the Internet. By emulating Mr. Obama’s example, other governmental leaders, from local, state and national leaders are finally breaking down barriers which for too long have impeded real understanding between the citizenry and their elected officials.
There is a saying, “Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.” For too long there has been a void in genuine communication when it comes to Washington. Whether you agree or disagree with his policies, Mr. Obama is indeed improving the silence.
There are those who claim the President needs to stop making so many appearances and get to work. What they fail to recognize is that the work of a good Presidency compels attention to the art of the conversation and the encouragement of dialogue. If this tenet endures, the Obama Communications Doctrine may be one of the key legacies he leaves for those who govern in the future.