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Government

Obama: From Bottom-Up Candidate to Top-Down President

Like so many of us, California’s Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom was inspired by Barack Obama’s Internet-driven 2008 Presidential campaign. Indeed, Newsom was so inspired by a campaign run by “35,000 self-organizing communities” that he wrote a book called “Citizenville,” which sees all change as beginning from the bottom up.

But Newsom has fallen out of love with Barack Obama. As he told me at our latest Ericsson and AT&T hosted FutureCast event at the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, the “bottom-up candidate” has turned into the “top-down President.”

Obama isn’t the Internet President, Newsom insists. By transitioning from change.gov to whitehouse.gov, he’s let his Internet base down.

The American challenge, Newsom told me, is to get back to our roots. America, he insists, is “unusually civic.” And this can only be brought out by going back to change.gov.

Is Newsom right? Can the Internet get us back to de Tocqueville’s America?

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