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False alarm: White House is not cool despite iPhone app

The White House iPhone app we wrote about last week is actually quite good. But contrary to our initial impression of the Obama administration getting down with cool technology, it won't earn Washington a seat at the "cool kids" table.

Obama's chief spokesman, Robert Gibbs, appears in a 43-second faux commercial on the White House YouTube page (video embedded above). Dressed in a suit and tie and sporting his signature (yet still uncool) frameless glasses, Gibbs demos the iPhone application in a very Apple-like presentation.

Maybe the biggest telltale sign that this isn't an Apple production is the cheesy, vaudeville-sounding background music, as opposed to the instantly-recognizable pop songs that Apple usually employs.

After showing off some of the features, Gibbs pokes awkwardly at the screen, sets the phone down on the table and saunters off to a clearly-faked White House press conference. With a smirk -- that kind of goofy smile you only get when you're knowingly filming a YouTube video -- it cuts to a signature Apple black-text-on-white-background screen.

They should have just gotten President Obama to do it. The man emanates cool. But he's probably ticked off about the lack of a companion BlackBerry app.

-- Mark Milian

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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