Senator Barack Obama's Podcast
I found Senator Barack Obama's podcast mid last year. I've listened to all the episodes back to the beginning of 2006 when he started podcasting and am very impressed. Each week he talks in a fair amount detail on at least one topic. The conventional wisdom suggests that bearing a detailed opinion in today's political climate isn't such a good political move. As a result we basically get debate trough soundbites which is both unproductive and embarrassing. Senator Obama's podcast goes against the grain of that mentality and is, as far as I can tell, the only frequent podcast produced by an elected official where he or she takes the time to describe the details of current issues and his opinion on them. For that matter it is currently the only podcast produced by a US Senator. I did find a few single episode podcasts where a citizen interviewed a senator and mid last year a few Congressmen and women started podcasting, but the quality of the content (and accessibility of their websites) doesn't come close the material being produced by Senator Obama.
I'm not sure which was more impressive to me, Senator Obama's willingness to state his opinions in detail, or his initiative to adopt an accessible and free technology for a practical purpose in government. Either way podcasting strikes me as an excellent way for an elected officials to reach out to their constituent base with much more value than can be conveyed in a soundbite.