November 1, 2013
Obama to Bits
Without a doubt, the new Businessweek cover is impressive. Using low tech illustration as high tech emulation, it borrows an event most of us dread and fear — the spinning beach ball as desktop death panel — to a temporal and sensory end. What I’m not quite sure about, however, is where you draw the line in terms of thematic scope. The way Businessweek programs it (largely by way of the bottom line anchor text), the problems with the healthcare website are as much a metaphor for Obama’s status overall.
However, I wonder if that obscures a more narrow question, which is how Obama has faired as Technologist-in-Chief. Whether you’re talking war and drones; financial markets and derivative programs; national security and NSA surveillance; global warming and green technology; social media and the selling of the president; the new healthcare model and on and on, digital revolution (since the ’08 campaign, anyway) hasn’t exactly been a theme of this Presidency.
In comparing the new Businessweek cover to this four-year-old Fortune cover, clarity and vision is the operative device, isn’t it? At least, applying one’s own vision.
But then, looking at a broader cross-section of BW POTUS covers, perhaps Businessweek’s always gonna be hacking the delivery system?
(Businessweek covers: creative director Richard Turley. age progression photo illustration: Justin Metz)