A View from David Talbot
Change (Dot Gov) Is Here
President-elect Obama’s transition website launches.
Early this afternoon–barely 38 hours after Barack Obama clinched the presidency–his transition team gained a new Web footing by launching www.change.gov. The site seems to be getting massive numbers of hits, judging by the slowness of the response. The homepage includes a presidential blog and links to explanations of Obama’s policy initiatives, alphabetically organized, and a prominent link to his acceptance speech in Chicago. The site projects an aura of openness: it includes a section called “Open Government” that, for now, invites visitors to click away and send thoughts and personal election-day stories. “Share your story and your ideas, and be part of bringing positive, lasting change to this country,” it beckons. When you go there, you must submit your e-mail address. This will surely allow president-elect Obama to continue bolstering his already vast e-mail database, described to me yesterday as the largest ever marshaled in U.S. political history. It will be interesting to see whether he uses these lists to mobilize the masses to help in pressing for passage of his policies. The new site was built by Blue State Digital, the startup that created candidate Obama’s highly effective online social-networking presence. But the “change” site is, well, more presidential-looking, coming as it does from the “Office of the President-Elect.”