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Take a Peek Inside the White House

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, November 9 2010

New out of the Obama White House this afternoon is an interactive tour of sorts of the West Wing, East Wing, First Family Residence, and South Lawn; here's what deputy new media director Kori Schulman had to say on the White House blog:

With some incredible behind-the-scenes photos from the Photo Office and our best "Inside the White House" videos, you’re invited to do everything from cook with the New Orleans Saints in the White House kitchen, to peek inside the Situation Room, to watch the Jonas Brothers perform in the East Room and tour the first ever beehive on White House grounds with beekeeper Charlie Brandt -- plus a lot more.

As for the audience for the tour, it's more tourists than curious political types; you'll still have to visit the Washington Post to figure what administration official sits in what office in the West Wing. But it's a way to both offer a peek inside the presidential home turf and, for the White House media folks themselves, make use of the video and photo content they've collected to help annotate for the rest of us the White House experience. Take a tour here.

(Bonus fun for you lot: The pop-up of the White House library features President Obama watching a YouTube clip and taking questions from the public delivered by YouTube's Steve Grove.)

And more: It's a little bit of a hollow shot, but a little birdie reminds that candidate Obama back in 2008 talked about how, for him, "the virtual tour of the China Room" sort of online project is only secondary to what the web can do to shine light on government. "I want to open up transparency in government, so that you guys know what is happening," Obama told a crowd in Indianapolis. "I want to revamp our White House website or whatever. I know it's nice to take the virtual tour of the China Room at all that stuff. But, I mean, I want people to be able to know, 'today, this issue is going on...today's President Obama talked about his proposal for $4000 student college tuition credits for every student for every year, it's going to be going into this congressional committee...'"

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