Radical Instrument

IT is changing the exercise of power. Radical Instrument is picking up the signals.

Posts Tagged ‘soft power

Obama’s inaugural address – a soft power moment?

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I received an e-mail today from the Save Darfur Coalition asking for volunteers on Inauguration Day, to help send a message to the incoming administration [full disclosure:  I’ve donated to Save Darfur, as recently as last month]. Made me realize I missed something in my earlier attempt at predictions for 2009:  

President-elect Obama’s inaugural address is going to be not just the most-watched political speech in U.S. history, but in world history

The x-factor here is information technology. Add digitally transmitted and stored media (like this BBC video of Obama’s Grant Park victory speech) to post-Bush relief/curiosity/hope and the President-elect’s multicultural appeal, and I’d wager that a third of the planet will have seen at least part of the inaugural address within a week of its delivery.

If that’s the case, this single speech could represent the most significant moment of “soft power” the Obama Adminstration could have across its entire first term. 

A recent email from the Obama inauguration machine alluded to a “call to national service” coming in this speech. And in any message the President-elect delivers to America, about Americans, there will of course be an implicit message to the world – a message about what the world can expect from Americans.

Yet with so many more watching outside America, I’m hoping President-elect Obama has something to say directly to them. They will be as much a part of the audience as the crowds on the Mall, and he may never have another such moment.

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Written by Mark

January 10, 2009 at 2:25 am

Posted in Technology

Tagged with ,