Category Archives: Campaign

Nothing wrong with cute videos of kittens, but ….

Craig Newmark had a good piece yesterday at The Hill’s Pundit’s Blog on how the Internet is reenergizing and redefining representative democracy in America.  Called, “The Internet:  More than just cute videos of kittens on YouTube,” the piece discusses the tools and innovations that are transforming government and modern campaigning. 

One of the tools Newmark mentions is (sic) doesn’t eliminate the simplicity of the e-mail form letter, but it confirms the constituent’s zip code. Congressional representatives and Hill staffers tell me that messages from verified people in their districts carry more weight than blind e-mails that could be mass-produced. Communications from constituents are read, but form e-mails may not be — confirming the e-mail writer’s location may bring us one step closer to direct democracy.

You must have received, as I have, dozens upon dozens of pleas over this campaign season to sign this or that petition to go to this or that Congressperson on this or that issue.  While we all have probably known that a plea to your own Congress member is the one that will get the attention, it may not have been as simple to make that plea until set up shop.

Certainly another tool that has allowed individuals to become directly involved in campaigns is online fundraising.  While Howard Dean was arguably the pioneer in this area, Barack Obama has shattered fundraising records through an extraordinary online campaign.  September reporting showed that Obama had raised an amazing $150m while maintaining a low average donor amount of $86.00.  Private democrats also founded ActBlue, a “PAC allowing individuals and groups to channel their progressive dollars to candidates and movements of their choosing.”  It was through ActBlue that bloggers set up the recent campaign to help un-seat Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) after her McCarthy-like comments on Hardball.  That particular campaign has raised $127,695.41 (though it’s gratifying to know that anti-Bachmann campaigns have brought in nearly $1m for Bachmann opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg).  Grass-roots networking backed up by the green stuff in real time has truly transformed the political landscape.

It can also be argued that bloggers have had an enormous impact on campaigns.  The above Bachmann example is one such case where a race could be changed by blogger intiative.  As soon as Bachmann made her comments, the video and transcript of those comments went zipping around the ‘net and folks began contributing to her opponent.  Those contributions have allowed her opponent to triple his advertising presence and the race has moved from likely Republican to a toss up.  From the Cook Political Report

Bachmann’s comments likely changed the complexion of her reelection race overnight and helped to turn the race into even more of a referendum on her.

Had her comments not had the benefit of instant viral reporting on the ‘net, I doubt the impact would have been as great.

It will be fascinating to watch how campaigns continue to evolve and adapt to the ‘net environment.  Stay tuned.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Campaign

Obama in St. Louis

On Saturday, Obama held a rally in St. Louis and that rally drew an amazing 100,000 people.  His reaction?

All I can say is wow.

Obama in St. Louis, 10.18.08

Obama in St. Louis, 10.18.08

From his speech:

So Senator McCain can keep trying to attack me and distract you – but it’s not going to work. Not this time – not now. Because while my opponent thinks this campaign is all about me – the truth is, this campaign is about you. Your jobs. Your health care. Your retirement. Your children’s future. That’s what this election is about. That’s what I’m fighting for. Because I can take 2 more weeks of these attacks from John McCain, but the American people can’t take four more years of the same failed policies and the same divisive politics. That’s why I’m running for President of the United States.

For the full text of the speech, go here.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Campaign

Obama buying air time

The Obama campaign is buying 30 minute blocks of air time on major networks and cable news outlets for the Wednesday before the election.  Unless there is a game 6 of the World Series, he could be on every major network, including FOX, on 10/29 at 8 pm ET.  This will be a very, very expensive move and only possible because Obama opted out of accepting public financing.  This buy will, therefore, leave him open to brand new attacks from McCain on honesty, as Obama once swore to opt into the public campaign financing system, as McCain has done.  It is only because Obama turned his back on public financing in favor of having millions of small donors involved in his campaign that he is able to afford this kind of bold campaign move. 

What will Obama say in this half hour?  What should he say?  Do you think this is a smart move?  Sound off.

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Rednecks for Obama: Live from Asheville!

Oh my Lord, this is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  Maybe it’s because I come from rednecks; maybe it’s because this has been one crappy day; I don’t know, but this had me on the floor.  This is so not work safe and completely not appropriate for children or if you have a stick up your butt ….  Funny as hell, though.  Y’all enjoy.

And where are my manners?  Thanks to the folks at Blind Lyle Films for sending my way.  Rednecks for Obama, Unite!

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Quote of the night

NC Governor Mike Easely was on the Rachel Maddow show tonight talking about how Obama might carry his state.  He mentioned seeing a pick up truck complete with gun rack sporting two Obama bumper stickers.  He explained the iconography of that in his traditionally red state:

I like McCain, but I love my job.


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Filed under Campaign, Daily Quotes, Swing States

Where was I?

Oh heavens.  I thought I was on top of things today.  But I totally and completely missed this one.  Go, Robert Gibbs.  He schooled Sean Hannity.  Watch it, the good stuff starts 1:23 in.

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Sarah Silverman: The Great Schlep for Obama

Ok, so I’m not Jewish. But this is funny. And profane and a little racist, but, hey, it’s Sarah Silverman. When you’re done watching, check out the website: The Great Schlep.

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Filed under Campaign, campaign ads