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Wait, What About White House *1.0*?

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 22 2009

Over in the always valuable Open House Project Google Group discussion forum, Cato's Jim Harper issues a call for deep breaths and reflection. Now, you may have heard that the Obama White House took some major steps towards openness and transparency yesterday with the launch of the Open Government Initiative and Data.gov. You also may have heard that President Barack Obama gave a major national security address yesterday at the National Archives in DC. If you missed the speech itself, the New York Times has a copy of the transcript. So does Politico. So does Talking Points Memo. So does the Huffington Post.

In fact, the one place on the web that you don't want to go looking for a copy of that speech is WhiteHouse.gov/briefing_room/Speeches. As it turns out, that page in the the White House website's "Briefing Room" section hasn't been updated in almost three months, not since President Obama's remarks on the war in Iraq back way back on February 27th.

To be fair, the entirety of yesterday's speech transcript is available elsewhere on the White House website, navigable to through the White House blog, which also posted excerpts of the President's prepared text. But Harper is using the example of the missing speech to argue that before being distracted by the "shiny baubles" of the White House's more eye-catching web projects, we need to keep in sight the very basic bar that a truly wired and responsive White House should reach. And don't even get him started on the five-day bill waiting period. (White House photo by Pete Souza)