Monday, August 17, 2009

The White House improves

The Obama White House improves its response time, and doesn't even whine about it.

When confronted late last week (8/13/09) about people getting Spam from the White House (not government cheese) Press Secretary Gibbs pled the fifth after a Scott McClellen-esque interchange with reporters:

Q Speaking of the e-mail, how was the list for who would receive it determined?
MR. GIBBS: I believe it's for people that have signed up to receive e-mail updates from the White House.
Q The reason I ask is I have received e-mails from people who did not, in any way, shape, or form, seek any communication from the White House, who have never registered on OFA, who have never registered on a campaign Web site --
MR. GIBBS: Well, hold on, let's --
Q Let me finish my question, let me finish my question.
MR. GIBBS: No, no, no, but let's be clear, because --
Q Let me finish my question.
MR. GIBBS: No, no, no, but let's be clear before you -- I'm going to give you a chance to finish your question. You've done this a couple of times, Major, and I just want to be very clear, okay. OFA -- no, no, no, no, don't look funny. OFA, whether Obama for America or Organizing for America has nothing to do with, never has had anything to do with what -- if you sign up for, through, to receive e-mails, so let's just -- the reason I interrupted you is because I want you to rephrase your question that doesn't continue to assume that --
Q Well, all I'm trying to get at is --
MR. GIBBS: -- somebody is violating the law and mixing up political --
Q -- I receive e-mails from people who have never, ever signed up for anything related to this White House, Senator Obama as a candidate, Senator Obama as anything, and have received e-mails from David Axelrod. How could that be?
MR. GIBBS: I'd have to look at who you said got the e-mail.
Q I mean, do you seek other pieces of information identifying who might be curious about health care outside of people who have asked for e-mails?
MR. GIBBS: I'm sorry, say that again.
Q Do you in any way seek databases or information about people who might be interested in health care?
MR. GIBBS: I will certainly check. I will certainly check. I am not under that impression. But again --
Q I mean, folks have emailed me -- I just want to know -- would like to know how they get an e-mail from the White House when they have never asked for one.
MR. GIBBS: I'd be interested to see who you got that e-mail from and whether or not they're on the list. I don't --
Q May I follow up politely on one of Major Garrett's --
MR. GIBBS: Well, let me -- let me finish needling Major.
Q -- this row, please.
MR. GIBBS: Again, I just want to be -- but I just want to be very --
Q So what you're telling me is I need to give you these people's e-mails so you can check them on a list? I'm just asking.
MR. GIBBS: Well, you're asking me if they're on a list.
Q No, they're telling me --
MR. GIBBS: If you can figure out a different way of checking without asking me to double-check the name, I'm happy to --
Q Perhaps I'm not phrasing this correctly. They're telling me they're not -- they can't be on a list because they never asked for an e-mail from the White House.
MR. GIBBS: Right, but what I'm saying is I don't -- I'd have to look and see --
Q So there's no -- you don't have an explanation for how someone who never signed up and never asked for anything from the White House would get an e-mail from David Axelrod?
MR. GIBBS: Well, I hesitate to give you an answer, because you might impugn the motives of the answer.
Q Why would you say that?
MR. GIBBS: Because of the way you phrased your follow-up. I'd have to look at what you got, Major. I don't -- I appreciate the fact that I have omnipotent clarity as to what you've received in your e-mail box today.
Q You don't have to have omnipotent clarity. You don't have to impugn anything. I'm telling you what I got -- e-mails from people who said they never asked anything from the White House --
MR. GIBBS: And I'm simply saying --
Q -- and yet they received something.
MR. GIBBS: We can -- let me go to someplace else that might be constructive.

And today the White House indicates that there was a problem with third party groups (presumably groups other than OFA - Obama for America or Organizing for America) sharing email addresses with the White House which David Axelrod used to send out messages pitching Obamacare.

Pretty good. Four days to issue a back-handed admission of guilt and halt the pratice.

Then the line went dead on "Obama's snitch on my critics" email address, aka Mail sent there as of today is returned with a fatal error.

I find all of this rather humorous given Obama's tech-savvy campaign. The media said it was a near-flawless execution of technology that won him the younger vote. Suddenly he's making mistakes that make him look like an old guy like...well, like John McCain.

Still, Gibbs comes across as an uninformed white guy who tries to be funny but isn't a serious source of presidential information. And it really isn't his fault. He's an Obama mushroom with a huge gap of information known as deniability.

Watch for some heads to roll over these two cyberblunders. Maybe...
Aneesh Chopra (born in New Jersey but a strong advocate of identity politics. "In 2006, Aneesh discusses how South Asians can make it in politics and perhaps most interestingly, makes a direct tie between his sense of duty and Hindu philosophy." )
Vivek Kundra (born in New Dehli, India)

Who'da thunk the White House would go to India for technology expertise?

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