Obama's plans to adapt FDR's model to address today's economy





In an effort to educate the public on the state of the economy and his plans for improving it, President Obama is considering a series of short televised addresses similar to Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats. Press secretary Robert Gibbs has told the television networks that the administration may request more time than usual for a president. Gibbs did not provide a schedule but described the addresses as lasting about 10 minutes each.

You may think you've heard all this before. When Barack Obama became the first president to put his weekly radio address on YouTube, it was heralded as his version of FDR's famous fireside chats. It was a sloppy comparison. FDR wasn't the first president to use radio. (Here's Hoover giving a fireside-chat-like address on unemployment.) And FDR did not speak weekly. (That was a Reagan invention.) Roosevelt spoke only 30 times in 12 years. But what made the addresses so powerful and popular was the connection the president created with the country as he explained his sweeping policies.


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