Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Obama Would Hold ‘Fireside’ Web Chats"

NY Times:
CHICAGO – A reprise of the fireside chat?

Senator Barack Obama is delivering a speech here today (Tuesday), on the campus of DePaul University, focusing on turning America’s foreign policy away from Iraq to concentrate on nuclear and other threats facing the nation.

But tucked into the speech comes a couple of interesting ideas: Mr. Obama, if elected, will deliver an annual State of the World Address and will hold fireside chats on the Internet.
In an effort to “bring foreign policy decisions directly to the people,” Mr. Obama said he would ask his national security officials to hold periodic national town hall meetings – via Web cast – to discuss foreign policy. And Mr. Obama would deliver “occasional fireside chats.”

While Mr. Obama does not necessarily suggest he would bring an end to those old-fashioned news conferences that are surely the bane of so many presidents’ existences, he does signal a new approach to conveying information.

“People who care deeply about foreign policy but live outside the Beltway rarely have the opportunity to question and interact with government leaders,” a campaign briefing paper says. “Messages are filtered through the media, and many times the hard questions are not asked.”

Memo to 2009 White House Press Corps: If elected, Mr. Obama seems eager to be asked hard questions. He said so himself today.



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