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Obama's Golfing Habit Spurs New Romney Fundraising Microsite

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, December 8 2011

As populist outrage continues to run unabated outside of the Beltway, both President Obama's re-election campaign and Mitt Romney's team are racing to paint each other as part of the out-of-touch one percent.

Romney's campaign pushed ahead Wednesday with a new fundraising microsite with the web address Fortyfore.com, a play on the golfing term "Fore!" It's a term that golfers shout out on the course to warn others to steer clear of a ball that's headed their way.

The site urges visitors to donate $18 to send President Obama on a "permanent vacation." It's an online extension of Romney's recent rhetorical campaign trail attack that criticizes Obama's plan to go on Christmas vacation this year while many Americans are still hard up and searching for work.

While the simple microsite isn't an earth-shattering technological development, its launch is a reminder of how the web is becoming an integral part of the campaigning process.

Modern political campaigns are all about preparing for and positioning oneself to be ready to ride any waves of sudden surges of interest, and using those waves to fundraise, sign up new volunteers, or take some other action that can help to propel the candiate's process forward.

Matt Drudge boosted the Obama-going-on-vacation meme on Friday by posting a portion of a White House travel office press scheduling memo on his site. Romney's team apparently jumped on that with the subsequent launch of the microsite, which then got a boost with a coveted link at the top of Drudge's site on Wednesday.

Despite the mention, it doesn't seem to have gained much traction -- on the social networks at least. Its social media buttons tell us that it was only tweeted 215 times, liked by 482 people on Facebook, +1ed on Google 44 times and e-mailed 23 times as of Thursday morning.

Still, without knowing how much money the site has actually managed to pull in, it's hard to draw any real conclusions.

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