-By Warner Todd Huston
On February 14, President Obama will again host a Google Hangout to take questions from members of Google Plus, one of the net’s newer social networks.
Calling it a “Fireside Hangout,” the President will answer pre-submitted questions and videos from Americans.
Tech savvy moves like this have been a hallmark of this President and it is one of the reasons that he has been able to zoom ahead of Republicans who appear practically Luddite by comparison.
Taken individually Obama’s Twitter sessions, Google Hangouts, email exchanges, and YouTube videos, all reach only a small number of voters. But taken together, taken as a whole they are just of a piece with his constant voter outreach, his permanent election campaign.
In fact, even a lone Google Hangout from last year gave the Media a great opportunity to flog Obama’s election campaign.
In January of 2012 Obama hosted a hangout where he took a question from a woman who claimed to be a loyal Republican. The woman, Jennifer Wedel, asked Obama about her husband who was then unemployed.
It wasn’t long before Wedel had allowed herself to become a flack for Obama’s re-election campaign. The supposed “loyal Republican” was all over the place saying that the Google Hangout had convinced her to vote for Obama.
Certainly some few GOP congressmen and Senators have engaged in Twitter chats or Facebook events. Many do Youtube videos. Some do a great job with their social media efforts. But too many congressmen don’t even have a Twitter account at all and even more don’t engage in any hands-on social media work themselves preferring to leave it all to their staffers.
As a party, the GOP itself, though, is not as tech savvy as it should be. Obama has earned his reputation as the Internet President.
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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