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Daily Digest, 2/16/07

BY Joshua Levy | Friday, February 16 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • AbsentCongress.org is keeping tabs on the voting records of 2008 presidential candidates in the Senate. According to the site, Sam Brownback has missed more than half of his Senate roll call votes. Compare that to Hillary Clinton and John McCain, who have been present for 94.87% of their votes.
  • It's tapioca time: Jeff Jarvis laments the threat to conversation signaled by the Edwards blogger resignations: "Now every blogger hired by every campaign β€” in any position β€” will have their writing scanned for anything that could offend anyone. Tapioca time."
  • According to E.J. Dionne Jr., "this is the election in which Internet campaigning will reach maturity." Quoted in the article are Becki Donatelli and Simon Rosenberg. In this campaign cycle, the web is "the 900-pound gorilla. It's the real thing," says Donatelli. "It's hard to have a Dean-like phenomenon ever again because the Internet is not a shiny new toy anymore," Rosenberg said.
  • Amanda Marcotte explains why she had to leave the Edwards campaign. "As a general rule, blogs are raucous and common, as would be expected in any political environment that is truly democratic, where you don't have to brandish a pedigree to get in the door. What this means is that even the more even-keeled bloggers are likely to have something in their archives that could be taken out of context and bandied about on the cable news networks."

The Candidates on the Web

  • Rudy Giuliani is officially running for president. He twice told Larry King yesterday, "Yes, I'm running." Perhaps we'll see a more robust web site soon...
  • Duncan Hunter has launched a new campaign site that brings him up to date with most of the other presidential candidates. He doesn't have a blog himself but he has a "Bloggers for Hunter" page that gives supporters a space to blog, links to sign up as a volunteer and tell others about the campaign, and "60 second Weekly Updates" -- audio updates from the campaign trail.
  • Tom Vilsack has a new video blog post up on his site on how he will use the Internet. He holds up a Blackberry and says, "I'm using this." "I'm anxious to use this blogging opportunity to have a relationship with you," he says. As of this writing the post received 79 comments. Not bad.
  • Dennis Kucinich took a step backward with a bizarre new web site design that makes it look like he's campaigning in 1996, not 2007. Instead of attractive images and icons and an intuitive placement of text, the site looks undesigned with text and rudimentary graphics, like a fuzzy test tube(!) documenting his fundraising efforts. Hopefully this is a temporary setback.
  • The Chicago Tribune reports that Barack Obama "is leveraging online social networking in a nearly unprecedented way in yet another clear measure of how the Internet is transforming politics." More than 2,400 groups have been formed on his site, and more than 4,000 people have started blogs. Joe Rospars, new media director for the campaign, stresses the social networking nature of the site. "It's about building those relationships and providing the glue that will bind people together. The more solid the relationships are among our supporters, the more impact they'll have as advocates in their own community," he said.
  • We hear rumors that John McCain is launching a new site today... stay tuned.

Hillary's blog countdown

  • Guess what? Twenty-five days, no blog.