President-elect Barack Obama taped Saturday’s weekly Democratic address not just for listeners, but for YouTube viewers last Friday. And he plans to keep videotaping the radio addresses after taking the oath of office on Jan. 20.
Before then, the videos will be posted on Obama’s transition Web site, http://www.change.gov.
Obama is turning the radio address into a “multimedia opportunity” to communicate directly with the American people, his transition team said in a statement.
The modern era’s Saturday radio addresses were initiated by President Ronald Reagan and have evolved into a weekly fixture of the presidency, accompanied by a response from the party out of power.
The broadcasts owe a debt to President Franklin Roosevelt, who seized on the new technology that was all the rage in the 1930s for his “fireside chats,” famously reassuring through times of Depression and war.
YouTube, the video-sharing Web site embraced by Obama, didn’t exist when George W. Bush was elected president. Bush does put the audio of his radio addresses online, at http://www.whitehouse.gov.