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Daily Digest: Tom Tancredo, the Web Hardly Knew Ye

BY Joshua Levy | Friday, December 21 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • Off The Bus’ Kristin Gorski wants to snuff out whether all of the “digital add-ons” influencing the election are “clouding or clarifying what candidates want to say.” She interviewed Matt Rosenberg, Group Director of Media and Entertainment at interactive advertising agency Organic, to find out more. Speaking about the value of gotcha moments on YouTube, Rosenberg remarks that it’s “very difficult to imagine an authentic viral moment of a candidate helping a little old lady across the street. So, generally speaking, it’s going to be the negative moments that get the big viral video plays.” I don’t know about you, but I think that video of Jim Webb walking his grandmother to the corner store really clinched it for him last year. Snarkiness aside, do check out the interview for an interesting perspective on site design, authenticity, and and repurposing TV ads for the web.

  • Tom Tancredo - a candidate who, without much of a web presence, didn’t make it into many of these digests — has dropped out of the race. His campaign never really caught fire except for one moderately popular and incendiary TV ad, but no matter, he successfully injected his immigration stance into the Republican agenda; his endorsement of Mitt Romney (which gives Mitt some immigration hardliner cred) got more news than anything else he did this cycle. And, as jokester Nick Mockiavelli notes, he’ll now spend his time personally building a border fence. “I just hit up Ace Hardware for two dozen bags of quick-dry cement. I’m stopping by the scrap metal yard where I expect to find some fine chicken wire that can be put to good use defending our national borders,” Tancredo might have said in some alternate universe.

  • Boston Red Sox superstar pitcher Curt Schilling — he of the bloody sock and precise fastball — is a blogger. While his beat of late has been the steroids/human growth hormone scandal rippling through major league baseball, the National Journal’s Michael Martinez noticed that Curt, who’s always been public with his political conservatism, has been blogging about the 2008 race and has endorsed John McCain
    . This is all well and good, but there’s the tiny issue of Curt’s compulsive verbosity. He routinely goes over 1,000 words per post and, as Martinez notes, a recent post clocked in at 3,676 words. Schilling is famous for keeping the ball count down and walking very few batters; maybe he can apply that efficiency to his blogging, though he could just be a long-form blogger. Maybe we need more long form in this time of micro-blogging and Twittering.

The Candidates on the Web

  • ABC News’ Jake Tapper uncovered two domains owned by the Hillary Clinton campaign that suggest she’ll be launching an attack on Barack Obama. The domains, votingpresent.com and votingpresent.org, refer to Clinton’s criticism of Obama for voting “present” as an Illinois state legislator. But contrary to the story’s headline (“Clinton Launches Obama Attack Web Sites”), there are no websites to speak of, just empy URLs. “Will they ever go live? Or is this just a bit of psychological warfare?,” asks Colin Delany.

In Case You Missed It…

The techPresident team wishes you and yours a very happy holiday! We’ll be taking the next couple of days off from the digest and will return, refreshed and renewed, on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

TechPresident presents our 2007 Campaign Web Index! It’s a year-end study of which campaigns are best at using the various elements of the web. Check out our bloggers’ and friends’ votes and opinions for who’s best at online video, advertising, social networking, rapid response, and much more. Some of their responses may surprise you, and some may be entirely predictable.

Mike Connery takes a close look at MTV’s innovative step into social media with the launch of its new citizen-journalist press corps.

Google is providing up to $10,000 worth of free advertising to the Environmental Law and Policy center to help promote its green efforts in time for for the Iowa caucuses, reports Kate Kaye.