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Obama administration to be wired to public

President-elect Barack Obama
President-elect Barack Obama | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is poised to be the first "wired" president, as aides said they'll use the Internet and other e-venues for outreach.

Obama aides and allies are preparing a huge expansion of the White House communications operation, allowing White House officials to reach out directly to supporters without using mainstream media, The Washington Post reported Monday.

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"He's going to be the first president to be connected in this way, directly, with millions of Americans," said Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist who helped integrate the Internet into campaigning four years ago.

The president-elect launched the www.change.gov transition Web site that features a blog and a suggestion form. He also plans to appoint a technology czar called a Chief Technology Officer.

At the core of Obama's wired policy is an e-mail database of more than 10 million supporters, considered so valuable, the Obama camp once offered it as collateral during a cash-flow crunch late in the campaign, even though the campaign didn't need the loan, senior aides told the Post.

Once hooked through a network, "you can't disconnect," said Peter Daou, who ran the Internet operations for the Senate campaign of Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

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But there can be a downside, Daou said.

"People who have helped you reach this historic goal by self-organizing can also organize in opposition to your policies," he said.

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