Like Lincoln and JFK, Obama Is on a New Channel

But 'fickle' Internet could 'stall his agenda as president'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2008 4:12 PM CDT
Barack Obama speaks with employees at Vernier Software & Technology in Beaverton, Ore., May 9.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Lincoln, FDR, JFK... Obama? So runs the line of US leaders who have ruled by harnessing new communication technologies. Obama's mastery of the Web echoes Lincoln's use of newspapers, FDR's use of radio and JFK's use of television. Obama vows to put the Oval Office online if he wins, but Marc Ambinder warns in the Atlantic that he may find the Internet "unruly and fickle."

Obama’s vision could boast participatory democracy to unprecedented levels—which may give him immense power, Ambinder writes, but online activism can also strike unpredictable targets: "The online networks that have turbocharged Obama’s candidacy could end up hemming him in, and even stalling his agenda, as president."