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Daily Digest: 4/17/07 [UPDATE]

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, April 17 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • Colin Delany at e.politics links to a post from the French blog Netpolitique responding to PoliticsOnline's assertion that Barack Obamacould be the JFK of the web. Instead, the French writer thinks that the U.S. is far behind the French: "Not to sound haughty, but French presidential candidates have been there and done that, and more, for over two years. They are now headed into the final stretch of a bruising political campaign which has ignited the French blogosphere for months now..." But Delany thinks his fellow Americans have been doing a comparable job: "American candidates have been using video-sharing and social networking applications extensively for months now, and if the French candidates are doing it more comprehensively, they’re also much closer to election day (as in, weeks instead of the nearly-a-year we’ll be waiting for the first primaries). Remember, the American candidates just unveiled their initial sites a few weeks ago. And, as [s]he acknowledges, online organizing isn’t winning elections yet — mainstream media still rule (as does local organizing, something that he doesn’t touch on at all)."
  • The New York Times has produced a great Flash feature that lays campaign contributions (unfortunately, only those over $200) over a map of the United States, divided by candidate. There are no real revelations here, but it's a great way to visualize how much money the candidates received, and where it came from.

The Candidates on the Web

  • The candidates respond to the Blacksburg tragedy: John Edwards, Barack Obama, Rudy Giuliani, and Duncan Hunter all posted statements on their sites, forgoing graphics for the simplicity of white text on a black screen. Dennis Kucinich posts his statement next to an illustrated flower, and Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, and Joe Biden have special messages posted on otherwise unchanged sites. As of this writing, no notes from Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, Tommy Thompson, Chris Dodd, John McCain, or Mike Huckabee. Townhall's Mary Katherine Ham is disappointed that Giuliani, McCain, and Romney have failed to mention the tragedy on their sites (Giuliani has since added a comment). "Political web operatives on the Left understand that websites move with the news, and are sometimes the fastest way to move those messages. Today, the Dem candidates' sites reflect that and the Republicans' do not," she writes. It's not just about misunderstanding the role of the web in news coverage, but also failing to understand that their web presence is reflection of themselves: "Not recognizing a major national event on your website makes you look, at best, out of the loop, and at worst, insensitive. This is the worst shooting in American history, for goodness' sake." The Politico's Jonathan Martin has a roundup of the Republican's offline statements.
  • [UPDATE: Chris Dodd posted last night, evidence of which is here.]

  • Ron Paul, who has arguably the worst web site of all presidential contenders, but some of the most enthusiastic fans on the web, gave an interview with CNet's Tech Politics Podcast about the potential taxation of online purchases. There is, of course, no mention of it on his site, which is so curiously out of the loop one wonders if anyone is actually maintaining it or if it's been abandoned like a half-built house with weeds growing up around it...

In Case You Missed It...

The "Grassroots" Money Race
by Spencer Overton
The percentage of its resources that a campaign collects from smaller contributors is important because smaller contributions are much more likely to reflect the economic diversity of America. A study from the 2000 election showed that American households earning less than $100,000 made up 86.6% of the general population. This group accounted for 66.1% of contributions of $200 or less, but for only 14.3% of the contributions over $200.

Webcameron blends conservative principles with effective communication
by David All
David All received an email from the United Kingdom's Webcameron this morning regarding "An exclusive look at our Party Election Broadcast."

Daddy Digi-Bucks and Election 2008
by Micah L. Sifry
Obama got Chad Hurley and Ted Leonsis's checks. Clinton got Terry Semel's. Edwards got Michael Eisner's. And uber-venture-capitalist Vinod Kholsa invested in three presidential candidates: Obama, Edwards and McCain. A quick and dirty look at which way the digerati are leaning...

TechPresident is Hiring!
by Joshua Levy
TechPresident is hiring! We're looking for a creative, smart, self-directed Drupal and PHP developer to help us build out new features on the TechPresident site and plan future projects. A perfect candidate is hardworking and fast and has:

- Extensive experience building custom modules for Drupal sites
- Experience building custom applications and modules around public API's
- Experience working on political or social advocacy campaigns
- A strong design sense and the ability to visualize data in new, interesting ways
- Well-honed design chops
- Familiarity with online advocacy work

This is a part-time, freelance position (you can work from home), and pay is negotiable.

Please contact us at techpres AT personaldemocracy DOT com if you're interested.