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FROM THIS EPISODE

"Community organizing" sounds like old news until you hear how Barack Obama combined it with Internet technology that hardly existed four years ago. We hear about a quantum leap in political campaigning. Also, the unemployment rate reaches a 14-year high, and Obama's election may already have made a difference for politics in Iraq and conditions for the continued presence of American troops. 


Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Born Digital

John Palfrey and Urs Gasser

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Karen Radziner
Gary Scott

Reporter's Notebook Obama Win Improves Odds for Iraq Security Agreement 7 MIN, 10 SEC

The United Nations mandate for US troops in Iraq runs out at the end of December. The Bush Administration's been having trouble getting the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to agree to a new Status of Forces Agreement. Barack Obama's election seems to have changed that. Alissa Rubin is Deputy Baghdad Bureau Chief for the New York Times.

Guests:
Alissa Johannsen Rubin, New York Times (@alissanyt)

Making News Unemployment Rate Reaches Highest Level in over 14 Years 6 MIN, 3 SEC

Unemployment in the United States has reached 6.5 percent, the highest level in more than 14 years. Jobs declined by 240,000 last month alone.  Heidi Shierholz is an economist with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC.

Guests:
Heidi Shierholz, Economist, Economic Policy Institute (@EconomicPolicy)

Main Topic Old Strategy and New Technology in the Obama Campaign 35 MIN, 44 SEC

obama_everywhere.jpgIn her acceptance speech at this year's Republican convention, Sarah Palin got a big laugh with this description of Barack Obama's experience as a "community organizer" in Chicago. Rudy Giuliani and other Republicans did too. Now it appears that the joke is on the Republicans. For almost two years, Obama had been organizing the communities that produced record turnouts on election day. But he also married that time-honored strategy to 21st century technology in a campaign described as looking like Facebook. We hear how a million volunteers with computers and cell-phones advanced the art of campaigning, by combining the old with the new.

Guests:
John 'Jody' Kretzmann, Member, Obama Campaign's Urban Policy Committee
Thomas Gensemer, Managing Partner, Blue State Digital
John Palfrey, Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School
Peter Fenn, Fenn Communications (@peterhfenn)

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