Debate: Does the President need to know how to use a Computer/Web?

In this above video (If you’re in a feedreader, or email, click here) John McCain admits to not knowing how to use a computer, but does it really matter?


Although 71% of Americans use the internet (Internet world stats -2007) 70 year old John McCain isn’t unlike other Americans his age, in fact, only 22% of Americans 65 and older use the Internet. (Pew Research -2006) So does it matter if he, potentially the next President of the United States used the internet?

This video has spurred up some discussion in twitter, Julie suggests that understanding modern ways is key:

re: McCain – it’s not just about need. It’s about 21st century culture and new ways of thinking and communicating.”

On the other hand Russpage says he’s got plenty of staff to help him, computer ability isn’t important:

A president almost never uses a computer. What for? Email? He has people who do it for him. People do everything for him

Despite the ranging views, this blog is about how companies use the web to connect with customers, it’s not a political blog, I do talk about the many presidential candidates using social networks to get their message out, and how the web reacts to the political discussion.

Yet the question remains, and I’d like your answers:

  • Is knowing how to use a computer and use the internet a job requirement?
  • Does it impact a leaders ability to manage the country and impact the world?
  • Does it influence your vote, if so, why?
  • What do you expect from your leaders? CEO? President?
  • Although I’m a technologist that works for a technology research firm, I don’t believe it’s a critical job requirement, despite it being a very powerful intelligence gathering and communication tool.

    Few minutes later: As expected in the fragmented ‘web’ the conversation has spread to Friendfeed .