The First Internet President

How Obama tapped netizens to transform American politics.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Obama now presides over the largest, best-organized, best-funded, most enthusiastic political operation in the country. As one leading Republican commented in a recent New York magazine cover story, “They have basically invented their own party that is compatible with the Democratic Party but is bigger than the Democratic Party. Their e-mail list is more powerful than the DNC or RNC.” Without the Internet, much of that success would have been impossible. Obama’s ability to communicate with and mobilize millions of supporters will inevitably redefine how he and future presidents campaign and govern. From the beginning of his campaign, Barack Obama encouraged his supporters to believe that they could “bring about real change in Washington.” His innovative campaign has already shown they have.

Omar Wasow is pursuing a Ph.D. in African and African American Studies, and an M.A. in Government at Harvard University. He was the co-founder of