Obama announces - on the Web

Barack Obama passes over the media in announcing formation of presidential exploratory committee - he announces to the world in an online video.

In yet another sign of the central role of the Internet on electoral politics, Barack Obama announced today that he is launching an exploratory committee for a run for the Democratic nomination for presidency. What's notable is how he made the announcement, not in a press conference or call to media but in a video posted on his website.

It's a fitting venue perhaps, since Obama emphasized in his announcement video that:

Years ago, as a community organizer in Chicago, I learned that meaningful change always begins at the grassroots, and that engaged citizens working together can accomplish extraordinary things.

So even in the midst of the enormous challenges we face today, I have great faith and hope about the future - because I believe in you.

And that's why I wanted to tell you first that I'll be filing papers today to create a presidential exploratory committee.

Rachel Sklar notes on The Huffington Post that the move to announce directly to the public via the Web, rather than via media, shows a deft political touch:

Pretty savvy move, actually, on Obama's part, with the obvious bounty of media coverage to come (never mind in the lead up), to say nothing of the suddern traffic possibilities on his website (if he slaps Google ads up there quick he can totally rake it in!). That's why it's savvy — Obama knows that he's been the object of scrutiny and fascination, obviously, and this is a great way to sow he's not courting it (even though the citizen journalism touch will provide additional play).

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