Here's Obama's Blog: First President In History to Blog!

Here's proof that Barack Obama's internet skills were not just an election gimmick. He now has a blog! It has a countdown to the day he will be inaugurated, a section where ordinary Americans can apply for a job in his new administration, an announcements section and then, what I think is the niftiest feature: a section where ordinary Americans can write in with suggestions about what needs to be done and even just bringing their own personal and community problems to his attention.

The man is clearly an avid techie and truly believes in the power of the Internet to help him connect with the American masses.

Here in Zim, of course, we are not at that level yet. Our Internet is dominated by the intellectuals and 99% of our voting public have no interface with this medium. It is a useless tool when it comes to mobilising votes. However, most leaders (community and national) do have access and if they did not abuse the Internet to push their own views at the expense of the views of their constituency, then this would be a good medium for taking the pulse of the nation.

The only problem here is that, as things stand right now, the debate on the Internet when it comes to Zimbabwe bears no relation to the reality on the ground. I will give the example of the Inclusive Government. The overwhelming majority want that government formed. A vast majority think that sharing Home Affairs with Mugabe is enough for Tsvangirai to agree to join government. I am particularly happy that Tsvangirai seems to be wiser than all his Internet supporters and is moving slowly towards forming a government with Mugabe because this is what the people want. I am beginning to think that, left to his own devices, this man is probably more compassionate than Mugabe and would sacrifice his own ambition, short-term party advantage and the ambitions of some of his more selfish advisers to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe at least get temporary relief. He knows the best way to do this is to work with Mugabe, because there simply is no other workable and realistic solution on the table that would save Zimbabwean lives.

Wanna see Obama's blog? Click here


  1. Denford I am glad that Obama's blog has made you realise the importance of a blog for a politician to have his/her views known. Last week when you had just added the chat platform on your blog & we were chatting about the way forward for Simba Makoni & I suggested that he should start a blog you brushed the idea aside saying that he was a very busy man & had no time to start a blog. I'm sure Obama is a much busier man than Simba Makoni yet he got time to write on his blog. The fact that the only people who have access to reading blogs here in Zimbabwe are intellectuals should not stop him from starting a blog and let the intellectuals know what he is thinking about. Knowing full well that intellectuals are covered by his blog he can then concentrate on selling his vision to the ordinary Zimbabewans who have no access to the internet.
    If you are a true democrat who believes in freedom of expression even if that expression is pointing out were you got it wrong you are going to allow this comment to be published.

  2. Eusebia, there is no need for blackmail to get your comment published here, we welcome ALL comments, critical or not. The only comments we will not publish are the ones that make personal attacks on other readers or members of our staff.

    About the essence of your comment. I am wondering if you actually VISITED Obama's blog? No politician, and especially a Head of State, has time to write a personal blog. They use staff. Obama does not actually WRITE that website or the blog in it. What gets people excited, however, is the fact that it is well-known fact the president-elect is the most tech-savvy president ever and he actually surfs the net. He was also known during the campaign to give out his number to random people at campaign stops and to also take their numbers. He would answer if they called and he was free. He would also pick numbers he had been given by random people and call them to chat for five minutes or so between campaign stops/
    So people are excited by Obama blog because they know for certain that he is dead set against his staff keeping things from him. So he is certain to actually log into the blog adn read people's comments, answer a few questions and pore over the complaints and suggestions that are sent in.
    Dr Makoni, as you all know is probably the most tech-savvy of all the presidential candidates in Zimbabwe. He actually personally logs into out email address: everyday to read the mail. He also logs onto this site to read comments etc. Your fellow readers, who have been here for longer will tell you that now and again, he also logs onto the Chatroll and chats with whoever is in the house at that time. He normally doesn't stay long, granted. But still, that makes him the most connected pol in Zim today. Which is why I do not doubt that he will be president of this country at the next election.
    Circumstances really do not permit him to be a daily blogger, but he is at the same time very keen to stay in touch, which is why he posts some thoughts here now and again, such as his statement on the Way forward last week.

    Please do keep writing in. I do love the exchanges and we all love to hear the thoughts of our supporters and readers. It should please you even more that these are also certain to get to Dr Makoni uncensored. Once again, thanks, and please keep in mind that this is an open forum, started by the most democratic and open movement/party in Africa today!

  3. Thank you The Team for being democratic and point of correction that was never meant to be black mail and if it sounded like that to you, I am very sorry because that wasn't the intention.
    Take note that all Zimbabweans are interested in is getting to know Simba Makoni's thoughts and whether it is himself or a team who would have written the thoughts on his behalf is irrelevant and when I said he should start a blog all I was interested in is getting to know if he has a valid way forward for this country and I never mentioned that he should always write it himself.
    For your own information I am one person who think that all the three GNU leaders do not have the leadership qualities to cause a paradigm shift in this country and am hoping that one day Dr Simba Makoni is going to rise up and take over the leadership of this nation, democratically of course.

  4. The Team, may I say that I like your sensible, brave, but also "risky" predictions. Good on Obama and Hillary Clinton. However, sometimes you may need to use probalistic and humble language that is not puffed up. The Obam-blog-point that Eusebia is raising here is a case in point, unfortunately, you are ducking and dismissing his observation and correction.

    Another example is the one about the MDC-T seeking to spoil the SADC-sponsored agreements, and escalate the issue to the UN via the AU. Today you are the one who is saying "I am particularly happy that Tsvangirai seems to be wiser than all his Internet supporters and is moving slowly towards forming a government with Mugabe because this is what the people want"! Please correct me if I had read you wrongly, but I got the impression that you were saying the MDC-T was taking the first route, finish and klaar! Perhaps you may have been correct that that is what they were dreaming of doing, but they have seen that it will not work - and they may have even read your blog's good advice that it would be a wild goose chase. Now that you are happy they are moving towards forming the GNU, what about your prediction?
    Lastly, although I don't want to sound petty, I would like to point out another unnecessary statement you say about Dr Makoni: "Which is why I do not doubt that he [Dr Makoni] will be president of this country at the next election". Should it not read like, "Which is why we want him to be president of this country at the next election". I know that no one goes into an election to lose, but I think we should, as a movement try to minimise contradictions and absolute language which is a bad harbinger of absolutist actions. Yes, we can make predictions and they turn out to be correct; it is when they are wrong that we make clumsy U-turns. Situation analysis is not at all wrong, neither is "predicting" possible outcomes, but swearing and betting on these "predictions", is a politically risky affair!
    Our movement should not seek to build itself on such foundations. In the past, I have complained that this blog which, to some of us, is (at least for now) the face of the movement, has concentrated too much on personalities at the expense of the wider issues of concern. You "correctly" said to me such matters cannot be discussed on the net. I find it a contradiction that you now admire Barak Obama's blog that accommodates even job seekers, etc. May I say that I was impressed to see Dr Makoni's posting on his vision for the nation. And of course the draft constitution. Don't you think we need more of such posts that take us forward? Please get me right, I am not saying the posts you make on the blog daily are mundane and of no consequence, but if you closely look at most of the comments that different people send, you will agree with me that people (including myself) have been saying "Let's have the party", and you have spent precious time telling people that the time is not yet ripe for that. Maybe we are these "unwise Internet supporters"!

    Regional Diasporan

  5. Hi Regional Diasporan,

    Thanks for this. I would like to answer your first point about our analysis here. When we do our analysis of MDC strategy, such the one to escalate their dispute to the UN, we follow that strategy to its logical conclusion. So, if MDC decide to kill the talks and go the UN route, we will pursue that line of thinking and how it is likely to end. Where we are certain (because, we must point out, we are also privy to information from SADC heads of state which others can never get), we will be unequivocal. Which is how we are able to say with certainity, for instance, that "Morgan will never get a new mediator". This is so because, as we pointed out, elevel SADC heads of state personally and privately say so. It does not mean we are supporting their stance, just as telling a non swimmer that he would drown if he tried to cross the Zambezi is not an indication that the person pointing this out wishes the non-swimmer to drown. Certain events have an inexcapable conclusion and any good analyst will tell you that.
    Now, it is not our fault if the MDC decides to change tack. We will analyse that new direction and also give conclusions based on facts we have and which we will share with you all. Now and again, of course, a specific personal reaction will be inserted as with the case you point out. People are suffering and I as Denford would be happy to see a government in place that alleviates that suffering, even if temporarily while other strategies are being put in place for long-term solutions. This is separate yet again to an analysis of the new direction. If MDC want to now join Mugabe or the indication from a new strategy points to this, we will say so. All we do is analyse, we do not come up with the MDC startegy. So there is no contradiction on our part simply because we are analysing a contradiction that is not of our making.
    Regarding the party issue, America, as you appreciate, is different to Zimbabwe and the Obama example is simply that, an example. We are not in the business of copying, because our situation at Mavambo is unique.
    Most of the opinion we put down here is Denford's opinion, except when Dr Makoni specifically posts a piece such as the one you mention. His reaction to events is just that, although, admitedly, he will always have given that reaction or advice directly to Dr Makoni. As someone working with Dr Makoni, obviously, he will not go out specificall to contradict what he knows for certain to be the position of his principal, but will defend it. The movement has a position as an entity on why the process of forming a party is going the way it is. It's Denford's job to explain that to the people, no matter he himself may think.
    Then, of course, now and again, you will be able to pick up his own thinking because, if you look carefully, these are always stated in the first person "I".
    If Denford has put forward the idea of a blog to Dr Makoni and he has responded by pointing out how utterly overwhelmed he is with work to be able to do this, and this is communicated to Eusebia, this does not mean that we should not praise the politicians who, for whatever reason, have less busy lives and can write blog. The to are entirely different and not mutuall exclusive.
    We think it is a good idea. Dr Makoni thinks it is a good idea. But circumstances do not allow him to implement it. Do you then say that we should not praise Obama's blog because Dr Makoni is unable to do one himself?
    Finally, believe us when we say that our own supporters, people like yourself and others who come to the blog and supported Makoni in March are probably the most level-headed and realistic Zimbabweans anywhere today. They see what others do not and are proud to be part of such a exclusively enlightened club. So, you are quite wrong to think of yourself as an unwise Internet supporter". Those are to be found only amongst the ranks of MDC internet supporters!!!!!
    Regards and lets keep the fire burning. This was the reason fr this blog: "To have no-holds barred discussions!!!"
    Keep well


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