As President Obama travels to Lorain County, Ohio, today to tour a local wind turbine manufacturing facility and tout his jobs programs, the White House is releasing a behind-the-scenes video of how the trip came to be.
The short video offers a window into the heavy lifting and extensive planning that goes into organizing a presidential trip. It also strips away some of the glamour associated with a White House job (much of the work is done with a Blackberry in hand from the driver's seat of the car). And it demonstrates how a presidential visit can be, in many respects, its own form of economic stimulus.
Video snippets like these are becoming a favorite feature of the White House's communications shop -- providing viewers with increased access to the administration's operations while, naturally, casting the White House in a favorable light. They don't substitute for genuine transparency. The cameras weren't documenting health care negotiations, for instance.
But such videos do go a long way towards humanizing the president and his staff. More than that, they offer a view of how the White House affects and is affected by the country's economic turmoil.
There is an obvious bubble effect that comes with being sequestered in Washington D.C. The president's advance staff seems to serve, in many respects, as his entree to the world outside the Beltway.
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