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Daily Digest: Obamacans Move On To Barack

BY Joshua Levy | Monday, May 12 2008

The Web on the Candidates

  • MoveOn has announced the winner of its Obama in 30 Seconds contest. The video, titled “Obamacan” and produced by David Gaw and Lance Mungia, is narrated by a Republican vet who, despite years of supporting Republican candidates, is throwing his weight behind Barack Obama. The spot was chosen by MoveOn’s panel of judges (which includes folks like Ben Affleck, Donna Edwards, Oliver Stone, Markos Moulitsas and, um, Moby) and MoveOn supporters, who could cast their vote after viewing the videos. It’s a surprising winner. As the Politico’s Ben Smith wrote, the video “captures the power of Obama’s post-partisan argument — intensified in this case by the fact that the spot was chosen by members of a group normally seen as hyperpartisan.” Also, a quick check of MoveOn's YouTube channel (in the name of karinmoveon) shows that all of the finalists' videos were viewed at least 100,000 times. Not bad.

  • Conservative-ish Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan is excited about Barack Obama and Ron Paul’s online success, and wonders if it is “a harbinger of a more libertarian and self-empowered political culture — because the web does not reward obedience, submission, or authoritarianism.” To Sullivan, the web is conservatism. Think the mainstream GOP got the memo?

  • Citizen video blogger Joe Felice, whose entry to Project Breakout’s Political Pundit competition we recently noted, asks Ralph Nader a pertinent question in a new video. “When I go to your website I don’t see the name of your party… you had the last eight years to build something else bigger than yourself, but it seems like you haven’t built anything to affiliate your campaign with, you just drop in to run for president. How does that inconsistent behavior make you a credible voice for organized change?” Fine question, Joe.

  • LisaNova, a videoblogger and veritable YouTube star, produced a biting parody of Sunset Blvd. starring Hillary Clinton as the faded film star. In her fantasy world, the stairs in Hillary’s home become the stairs in the White House, and an amateur interview becomes Anderson Cooper. It’s worth watching for LisaNova’s over-the-top, hammy acting alone. It's also amazing that someone with a vast following on YouTube (nearly 100K subscribers) and well more than 6 million individual views, is beaming out an anti-Hillary parody.

  • The next piece anti-Hillary agitprop comes in the form of Surrender Hillary, a brutally funny gallery of canonical images altered to include the phrase “Surrender Hillary.” They’re often written in the same chicken-scratch scrawl, lending the images a homespun and menacing look. The voter-generated anti-Hillary wave continues to swell.

  • Two Twitter feeds collect Twitter chatter (twatter? That sounds kind of nasty. Chitter?) about the two Dem candidates. TwObama and twHillary are your one-stop sources for all things Twitter and the candidates, follow them or be left behind.

The Candidates on the Web

  • This is surprising: tomorrow President Bush will sit down for his first-ever online-only interview. Politico’s Mike Allen will do the duties, and the interview will be posted on both the Politico and Yahoo. It doesn’t look like the interview will be livestreamed — the White House isn’t going that far — but it will “be one of the president’s first on-camera interviews following the wedding of first daughter Jenna Bush in Crawford, Texas.” Phew, for a minute I was nervous they wouldn’t cover that important bit of news.

In Case You Missed It…

Today Bob Barr formally announced his entry into the Presidential race, and as the only candidate for his party’s nomination who has actually won a significant election, he will likely be the Libertarian candidate this fall, writes Luigi Montanez. Can Barr harness the energy from the libertarian-minded Ron Paul campaign and mount a disruptive third-party run? Or is he doomed to receiving a miniscule portion of the popular vote, as has been the case with past Libertarian presidential candidates?

There is no limit to how citizens can use the internet to make political statements, writes Alan Rosenblatt. Case in point: Hillary’s Downfall. (Viewer warning: this video may offend you.)

A Washington State state delegate named Suzi LeVine, looking for an easy way to organize her state’s Obama delegates, turned to free wiki service Wetpaint, which helped her quickly build the Barack Obama Delegates site. This is one of those sites that serve such an obvious function that we wonder how the delegates could live without it. So why haven’t supporters of the other candidates done anything similar?

Colin Delany reviews an interesting new GOP anti-Obama site, CanWeAsk.com, that mixes social media techniques and video to try to undermine Obama’s credibility. But does the featured video actually backfire?

Micah Sifry was in a breakout session at the New Democratic Network’s daylong conference on “New Tools, New Audiences,” listening to Vijay Ravindran, the CTO of Catalist, talk about web 2.0 and its development of an “Enhanced Voter File.” He offers his rushed notes, and a good paraphrase of what was said.

Chart-watcher Micah Sifry notes that Clinton is losing friends on MySpace, and traffic to her website seems to be crashing. Meanwhile, the interwebs are having a ball with “When Obama Wins.”