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Daily Digest: Is Ron Paul the Next Dean or Perot?

BY Joshua Levy | Wednesday, November 7 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • Salon’s Glenn Greenwald chimes in with a seriously thorough analysis of Ron Paul’s $4.2 million fundraising haul. Greenwald, a progressive/liberal with a passion for civil liberties, applauds and defends Paul in the original post and through seven updates. “The Paul campaign is now a bona fide phenomenon of real significance, and it is difficult to see [the fundraising success] as anything other than a very positive development,” he writes. If you’re looking for an overview of why Paul matters, and a compelling comparison to Howard Dean, this is the place to start.

  • Beltway Blogroll’s Danny Glover gets snarky, accusing conservative hub RedState, which has banned Ron Paul supporters from “shilling” on the site, of hating the Texas congressman. After Paul’s paradigm-shifting fundraising day, Glover writes that “the question is how quickly the GOP fear-mongering about Paul will spread.” Like techPresident’s Micah Sifry, Glover compares Paul to Ross Perot and recalls the way that Perot, once he proved his viability as a candidate, was hounded by the mainstream press.

  • Remember that actor who’s running for president, the one who was going to grab the baton from the ghost of Ronald Reagan in his sprint to be president? Well, it seems like even he isn’t convinced he can be president. Toby Harnden of the Telegraph (the British paper) witnessed a curious exchange between Fred Thompson and Fox News correspodent Carl Cameron:

  • Trying to encourage his studio to hurry up so an interview could start, Carl Cameron of Fox News said into his microphone: “The next president of the United States has a schedule to keep.” Standing beside him, a deadpan Mr Thompson interjected: “And so do I.”

    A half-interested world is waiting for the event to make its way to YouTube, where it will sit at its rightful place beside the video of Thompson asking an Iowa audience for applause.

  • Web 2.0 skeptic and blogger Craig Stoltz is as fascinated with the New York Times’ Debate Analyzer — which lets you skip to any point in the Democratic and Republican debates using video, audio, and text — as we have been. Using it to scrutinize Hillary Clinton’s dodges and contradictions in the last Democratic debate, he realized that it provides a “perfect opportunity to see how powerful well-deployed web technology can be in political journalism.” But the important question: is it a Web 2.0 app? “Let's call it ‘Web 1.99999,’” Stoltz writes.

The Candidates on the Web

  • The Fred Thompson campaign launched a new section on its site to correspond to the new Veterans for Fred coalition. The section is pretty bare-bones, with links to recommended sites in the right sidebar and… that’s it. What’s confusing, though, is the list of pictures in the second post on the blog, with no actual images. Blogger Sean Hackbarth wrote that they’re having technical difficulties, but if so, why even keep the post up? Right now, the post just reads, “Fred at podium. Fred surrounded by veteran supporters. Fred at podium. Fred again surrounded by veteran supporters…” with no pictures attached. Weird stuff. And what’s with the light-grey color of the text, which makes it look like it’s expired or something?

  • Like all online advertisers, presidential candidates use ad networks to spread their messages across the web. Unfortunately, this practice sometimes places ads in unexpected places. Take Mitt Romney, for example: lately his ads have been showing up on Gay.com. Way! The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg has more about the pitfalls of advertising online.

In Case You Missed It…

We're pleased to announce that America Online is now a cosponsor of 10Questions, and people can use their video platform to post questions to the site -- though you still have to remember to tag videos “10Questions.”

With more than 150,000 votes cast, the winner is Democracy for America’s latest Pulse Poll is Dennis Kucinich, with 49,000. However, he did not get the 66% required to get DfA’s endorsement, writes Micah Sifry.

Ron Paul is in the internet’s sweet spot for politics. That is, he is an remark-able candidate with a clear message that the mainstream media has been ignoring. The net reacts to censorship by routing around it; in the case of politics, the net reacts to mainstream silence or disrespect by creating or using new media systems to spread a message that people find compelling. The 2008 election just got a whole lot more interesting, Micah writes.

Zephyr Teachout notices that the New York Times — the same paper that mentioned neither Huckabee nor Ron Paul (except in passing) in this weekend&#8217s; analysis of internal struggles within the parties — calls Paul’s Haul a gimmick. Sigh. Also, check out the comments following Zephyr’s criticism of a new “gimmick” from Mike Huckabee.

November 5th wasn't a genius idea thought up by Ron Paul's inner circle; it came from the grassroots, writes Patrick Ruffini. Why don't campaigns initiate more of this stuff? Because the odds are that supporters are the ones who will be coming up with most of the new ideas, not you. Campaigns succeed not by appropriating the good ideas from the grassroots, but by giving them license to flourish outside the campaign walls, and showing their thanks and appreciation when they actually do work.