But whatever happened to the power of the people? Whatever happened to the “we”? We haven’t heard about it since the 2008 victory. “They built the largest online community in the history of the presidency,” says Andrew Rasiej, founder of Personal Democracy Media, which tracks the intersection of technology and politics. “But then they stopped talking to them and engaging them” – that is, until they called in recently with a pitch for money.
Obama did make some efforts to be the first Internet president, with a twitter feed, a blog and the Internet version of the traditional town hall. He launched an open government initiative with the aim of cutting the influence of special interests and giving the public more influence over decisions that affect their lives. Compared with other countries around the world, the U.S. is the gold standard for government openness.