On Tuesday evening I had the good fortune to attend a Luxury Marketing Council event at Millbank Tower, London to mark the Inauguration of President-Elect Barak H. Obama. The five hour time difference meant, of course that we were all able to unwind and toast his health as he was making his way to the White House as President for the first time.
There was something surreal to be looking out of the windows of the 29th floor down onto the Palace of Westminister and the “Mother of Parliaments” and watching Washington DC in all its glory on the plasma screens. But I digress.
The evening had a serious purpose, a distinguished panel of mainly American experts of all political hues. It was a solid, thought provoking hour or so but one remark stuck in my mind. A questioner asked how the new President would govern and The Hon Mary Jo Jacobi referenced the “13 million” email contacts the President had amassed during the campaign. In other words his ability to communicate directly with a large number of voters on key topics.
That got me thinking of how it used to be done. A President would make an address or speech and encourage voters to telegram the White House in support (or not). Wielding the sacks of telegrams to show Congress who was boss. It’s gone full circle. Watch President Obama use direct appeals to bring a contrary Congress to heal (or at least try) !