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Daily Digest: PdF '08 Roundup -- Crickets Seem to Greet "McCain is Aware of the Internet" Meme

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 25 2008

Yep, in both Monday and Tuesday's conference-coverage digests we promised that today we would be returning to our standard digest format. But we're going to do a round-up of coverance-related news today and return to the regular digest tomorrow. Probably.

  • The exchange between former John Edwards campaign blogger Tracy Russo and John McCain's online advisor Mark Soohoo about McCain's grasp of technology, including Mark's remark that "John McCain is aware of the Internet," was picked up widely -- aided, no doubt, by the fact that video of the back-and-forth was quickly posted online. But here's a question: where's the defense of the Republican candidate's fitness for office from the online right? Mark's comment was said with a sense of disbelief at the premise of Tracy's question, but as the catchy line quickly becomes a campaign '08 meme the response of McCain backers seems to be nearly nonexistent. As a U.S. senator, McCain served for several years at the head of a powerful congressional committee with jurisdiction over many tech issues -- making him a point person on issues related to the Internet, the world of technology (of both the high and low varieties), and the ever-evolving networked world. But the most spirited defense we've seen so far seems to be Danny Glover's argument on the Next Right that the Internet is nothing more than a communications tool that an American president doesn't need to be bothered with. Otherwise, crickets...

  • Wonkette explains the flow of information that followed Soohoo's "John McCain is aware..." comments at PdF '08: "[Y]ou can only imagine the giggles from the techie crowd, all of whom immediately Twitter the quote to their pet gerbils." That would hurt more if it weren't more or less true.

In fact, we're going to go out on a limb and argue that PdF '08 might be the most mediated -- videoed, Twittered, blogged -- conference in all of recorded history. Some evidence in favor:

In Other News...

The first ever presidential Twitter tech policy debate -- featuring Republican National Committee communications director @LizMair on behalf of the McCain campaign vs. Obama tech advisor @mikenelson and moderated by @anamariecox -- has wrapped, and here's one view of the proceedings.

BusinessWeek has a glowing profile of Blue State Digital, the progressive tech shop that grew out of the Dean campaign and is now powering Barack Obama's online strategy. From the article, "Campaign insiders suggest privately that Blue State has so impressed Obama that, if he wins in November, the company could be in the unique position to play a role inside the White House." In other web vendor news, Republican TechPres contributors Mindy Finn and Patrick Ruffini have joined forces under banner of Engage.