Thursday, April 21, 2011

Barack Obama: In a Relationship with Facebook, But It's Complicated

Yesterday, America's rock star president took his message to the streets once again with a visit to Facebook's headquarters for a "town hall meeting."

Obama's money line from the gathering: As leader of the free world, he claimed a legion of 19 million friends on Facebook - but that still puts him behind Spongebob Squarepants.

Cute comment. Ba da bing.

What's interesting to us is that the President is getting a lot of coverage for his Facebook visit mostly because of the medium he chose, not the message he delivered. (For those who are interested, here is a link to the President's official remarks.) It's interesting because, with over 500 million devoted users worldwide, Facebook simply isn't a novelty anymore. Really, it's approaching the status of a public utility.

Donald Trump is burning up pop culture news with rumors of his intentions to run for president, and he's collecting enormous criticism and scorn in the process. But seeing America's novelty president sitting next to social media icon Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook's headquarters and having it live-streamed online really isn't any different from watching Donald Trump on reality television.

It ought to take more than cute comments like the Spongebob line to get re-elected President of the United States -- particularly with a nationwide unemployment rate at over nine percent, a record-breaking $14 trillion budget deficit, and a series of foreign policy troubles.

The question is: will it? We think that remains to be seen.

After all, it's soaring rhetoric, lofty promises and dramatic production value that got President Obama elected in the first place.

We assume that the President will be placed under greater scrutiny this time around as voters rate his actual performance in office, not just his ability to deliver a good speech. But we're not sure if that will happen, or if voters will be convinced that the President it trying really hard to solve long-term problems and that he needs more time to finish the job. After all, that's basically what happened here in Massachusetts with Governor Deval Patrick, who was re-elected convincingly last November despite high unemployment figures and a mounting state debt load.

1 comment:

  1. I think you and the media missed the point. First, it was a fundraiser. Second, Obama's press secretary Gibbs now works for Facebook, which is the story behind the story. It's got nothing to do with Trump. Jeez. Third, quit calling him a rock star. And Facebook is about social media. He's on Facebook. And Twitter. You are too, I see. And he made a good crack about it.


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