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My candidate is Good!

BY Ruby Sinreich | Friday, February 23 2007

I tend to be more interested in "how the web is using them" than "how the candidates are using the web" in this site's mission. So of course I'm fascinated by the John Edwards Is Good website. I like the ambiguity of this slogan. Does it mean Edwards is good... looking, for America, at billiards? It could be any of the above.

When I saw first these 80's-inspired t-shirts popping up during the 2004 campaign, I took them for nothing more than a smarmy remark on Edwards' looks from some overly-clever college students. However, it seems that this meme has blossomed into a full-on campaign. While the goal was previously to market the shirt and take pictures of people wearing it in funny places, now the site seems to be semi-seriously promoting the election of John Edwards.

One the things that I found most powerful about Dean for America was how they allowed any interest group to really adopt the candidate and make him their own. Left-handed Rhode Island gun-owning cat lovers for Dean - right on! This is a great way for potential supporters to build community and feel that their interests are represented. Apparently this particular toungue-in-cheek version started with Mark Warner is Good (RIP), and has also spawned Obama is Good which sports all of the same features as John Edwards is Good (JEIG).

The sites have their own Facebook groups (of course), and links to MySpace, etc. They also have serialized, unauthorized biographies of their candidates, but the Obama is Good (OIG) site seems more earnest, while JEIG has a lot of humorous, fictional content and silly pictures. One my favorite features is a comparison of which is better, John or Elizabeth Edwards? (I'm partial toward the latter.)

I couldn't find an equivalent Hillary is Good site, but it's just a matter of time. Are there any similar independent and unorthodox campaigns for other candidates?

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