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Daily Digest: 3/26/07

BY Joshua Levy | Monday, March 26 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • Danny Glover at AirCongress writes that Newt Gingrich is issuing us a "conversation challenge." Newt dismissed the Hillary 1984 video as "utterly, totally destructive of the process of thought. There is not a single thing in that commercial that enables America to solve a problem. … It’s the Entertainment Tonight version of governing a great country. … Everything is reduced to gossip, attack, whose consultant is cleverer. And it’s really very destructive." Instead, he's proposing that the nominees engage in a 90-minute dialogue once a week from Labor Day 2008 to Election Day. "Once a week with a timekeeper and no moderator. No Mickey Mouse questions. No gimmicks. Two adults, much like [Abraham] Lincoln and [Stephen] Douglas," he said.
  • The LA Times reports that Google, and to lesser extent other web companies like Yahoo and Myspace, is aggressively reaching out to political campaigns, looking to provide them with advertising and other services.
    Phil Noble of PoliticsOnline thinks it's a smart move: "There's probably a lot less [money] than they think initially, but Google plays for the long term and they're smart to be there... The Internet and politics is a revolution, and Google and these guys are not going to lead the revolution, but they don't want to get shot in the back either." According to techPresident contributor Michael Bassik, 2004 campaigns only spent $12 million on online ads, compared to $1.6 billion on TV, but "political campaigns are expected to shift more of their ad dollars to the Web." Google will be waiting in the wings.
  • Unity08, the group that wants to create a bi-partisan ticket for president, will be holding an online convention in June 2008 to select the nominee, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. But although Doug Bailey, a former GOP consultant and cofounder of Unity08, expects 10 million delegates (any registered voter can be a delegate) to show up, only 42,000 people have signed up so far, and an online poll only drew 1,465 votes.
  • Some anti-war activists are feeling betrayed by Moveon.org for its newfound relationship with Nancy Pelosi, reports Farhad Manjoo in Salon. Eli Pariser sees the bill as a compromise that will help end the war, but "MoveOn's longtime allies in the antiwar movement, however, look at the bill -- and MoveOn's support for it -- and see something very different. Groups who call for immediate withdrawal argue that MoveOn's position is a betrayal of their cause, and that Pelosi's bill merely continues the war while allowing Democrats to say they've done something to oppose it," Manjoo writes. Over at MyDD, Matt Stoller reminds us that "Moveon was born out of an overt rejection of protest politics. You may or may not think that Moveon is in bed with Pelosi, but the organization started out to defend Bill Clinton, a relatively conservative President," and goes on to explain why he supported their partnership with Pelosi.
  • Todd Zeigler at the Bivings Report wonders if Ron Paul supporters are gaming Digg. "It you look at it closely, it is clear that there is a group of Ron Paul supporters that is actively submitting stories to Digg and voting for every story about Ron Paul... If you click through and look at their voting history, you'll see that those user names consistently vote for the same Paul-related stories," Zeigler says, although he thinks that this is only working because the Digg US Election channel isn't that heavily used yet; once it gains a bigger audience it will be harder to game.

The Candidates on the Web

  • Chris Dodd wants you to help him reach the Final Four: "There's room for one more candidate in the Presidential Primary Final Four, and with your help, it'll be Senator Dodd." How to get him in? Shoot a free throw (donate $10), a jump shot ($20), or a three-pointer ($30). It's slightly hokey but slightly fun. Unfortunately what you see on the front page is what you get; the Final Four link simply takes you to the standard contribution page.

In Case You Missed It...

The Dark Side of Transparency
Are campaign websites unwittingly giving up tidbits of info they'd rather not?

The Next Lee Atwater: Us
Gary Varvel created an excellent editorial cartoon after watching the anti-Hillary Clinton "Big Sister" ad. It reminds David All of the post he wrote a few months ago, "The 'Bad Boys' of YouTube," where he argued a similar point.

One Small Step for the Times
Buried in Saturday's New York Times story on public reaction to John Edwards' decision to continue his campaign despite the news of his wife Elizabeth's renewed cancer, is this line: "But in the interviews, and more than 500 reader postings to The Caucus, The New York Times’s national political blog..."