Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: Presidential e-mail

SUNDANCE/If you just can’t get enough of the goings and doings of President Barack Obama, can’t wait for the blog posts, Twitter tweets, Washington whispers or even the newspaper and magazine stories about the U.S. chief executive, now there’s help. You can sign up for e-mails from the president. He sent his first one Wednesday. It’s hardly a window on the inner workings of the White House but it is a new way to communicate.

“My staff and I plan to use these messages as a way to directly communicate about important issues and opportunities, and today I have some encouraging updates about health care reform,” wrote in his first message, also posted here. “The Vice President and I just met with leaders from the House of Representatives and received their commitment to pass a comprehensive health care reform bill by July 31.”

He ended the note with,

“Thank you,
“Barack Obama”

and then added a postscript:

“P.S. If you’d like to get more in-depth information about health reform and how you can participate, be sure to visit http://www.HealthReform.gov”

It’s not like Obama’s been under wraps. He traveled to Tempe, Arizona, on Wednesday to deliver a commencement speech at Arizona State University. He heads for Indiana to give a graduation speech at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend on Sunday — where protests against Obama’s stance on abortion and stem cell research are expected. And today, there’s a town hall meeting at Rancho Rio High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This administration seems to communicate constantly, but presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs apparently draws the line at ringing cellphones in the White House briefing room.

White House website gets new look, blog

OBAMA/WASHINGTON – Moments after Barack Obama took the oath of office as the 44th U.S. president, the Web site for the White House, www.whitehouse.gov, underwent a dramatic metamorphosis, offering a new blog for online readers.

It will serve as a place for the most technology-savvy president in U.S. history and his new administration “to connect with the rest of the nation and the world,” Macon Phillips, director of new media for the White House, said on the site.

The site features a web-log or blog, an online “briefing room” and allows visitors to sign up for e-mail updates on major announcements and decisions, and to send in their own ideas.

McCain daughter blogs plea for support for her dad

WASHINGTON – As Meghan McCain has traveled the country campaigning for her father, Republican hopeful John McCain, she has been writing a blog sharing her thoughts and behind-the-scenes photos from campaign stops as well as from book signings for her new children’s book.

With her father behind in the latest polls, Meghan on Tuesday offered an impassioned plea for votes for her father over Democratic rival Barack Obama. At the same time, she acknowledged the country’s thirst for change and the fact that she and the Republican party do not always see eye to eye.

“I know there are people who are so desperate for change they will do anything to get what they think is a better deal,” McCain’s 24-year-old daughter wrote on her blog, McCainBlogette.com.