A while back I was a part of a panel with Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin and one of his big points during the session was the use of visuals in politics. This was in the middle of the healthcare debate and he wondered why no one, Obama, Republicans, members of congress, etc. were using visuals to make their cases. I agreed whole-heartedly. Glenn Beck seems to make it work, why not put visuals and whiteboards to work for serious policy discussions?
Today I saw that the White House has started what it calls the White House Whiteboard, which looks to be a forthcoming of series of videos using a whiteboard to explain policy. In the first video, Austin Goolsby, the new Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, uses the whiteboard to explain the difference between the competing tax plans. He doesn't actually draw on the whiteboard, but the the drawings are hand-made and it has the desired effect. I think Dan would agree that this is a step in the right direction.
Please note that my intention with this post is not political. I'm simply pointing to a use of visual thinking in government.