White House launches direct line to get American public opinion input

Tejinder Singh – AHN News Correspondent

Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – The Obama administration, in its quest to tap into the American public to weigh on different subjects, launched an online program this week, according to a White House communique.

“Advise the Advisor is your direct line to President (Barack) Obama’s senior advisors at the White House,” read the statement defining the new feature.

The process starts with one of the members of the presidential senior staff posting “a short video to let you know what they are working on at the White House,” and gives the American public “an opportunity” to provide their “advice, feedback and opinions about key issues.”

“We’ll read through as much of your feedback as possible and post a summary of what you had to say a few days after the video is posted,” the communique further promised.

The series was kicked off by David Plouffe, senior advisor to the President, with a short video and two questions on innovation:

  • How is American innovation affecting your community?
  • What are the obstacles to innovation that you see in your community? And what steps can be taken to remove them?

There were immediate positive and negative reactions in the virtual world with bloggers going out in full steam to analyze the White House series.

The first concern to surface was the constraining nature of the answering form, which only allows 2,500 characters. Doubts were also raised about the role of lobby groups in Washington and how they will hijack the process in the name of the American public.

On the other hand, the innovation gurus were busy filing their “opinion” and without waiting for it to be read, filtered and posted on the White House site, the pundits were showing their ideas on different websites.

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