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The Obama Connection

New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Roger Cohen writes interesting things about the importance of the internet in his article “The Obama Connection”.
He starts off with “It’s the networks, stupid” – an allusion to the slogan from the first Bill Clinton campaign (“It’s the economy, stupid”), obviously a very productive pattern in Journalese. If you have a few minutes to spare, have a look at this Google search …
But what does it mean exactly? Cohen claims that one of Hillary Clinton’s main mistakes was to run a campaign in the style of the twentieth century: “When her husband last ran for president in 1996, the Internet was marginal. The thinking and people from that campaign have proved unable to fast-forward a dozen years.”
In contrast, Obama was able to tune in to the 21st century. Cohen states:

That’s not surprising. Obama spent only 10 years of his adult life in the split world of the cold war, double that in a post-Berlin Wall world of growing interconnectedness. MAC — mutually assured connectivity — has replaced the MAD — mutually assured destruction — of cold-war days.

The aspect of connectivity also entails a global element, namely the fact that American politics affects more than just the U.S.:

Obama’s people get that. Connectivity means going it alone is a fool’s errand: that’s a basic lesson of Iraq. If Obama has promised to appoint a chief technology officer, to open up government via the Web, and to make dialogue rather than war a centerpiece of policy, it’s because he knows he must speak to a 21st-century world.

Now this sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? It remains to be seen how big a role dialogue will play. If Obama really makes it into the White House, that is.

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