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Daily Digest: Enjoyable Blog Spells Trouble for Team McCain

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 10 2008

The Web on the Candidates

  • Andrew Romano spots a sign of trouble for the John McCain campaign. The problem? Its new blog is good. Ruh-roh! While the Obama blog is "about as interesting as a Club Med brochure," under the direction of former Weekly Standard Michael Goldfarb the McCain Report is clever, readable, and occasionally kinda funny. What that says to Romano is that the McCain campaign is operating in a scrappy insurgent mode that is no match for Obama's "corporate," GWB-esque, victory-ensuring approach. Hmm, what that says to me is that the Obama campaign did some figurin' about the usefulness of an official blog and simply calculated that it made sense for them to devote their innovative energies and whimsy elsewhere online. What does it say to you?

  • Jose Vargas has put together a great read on Linnie Frank Bailey, a southern Californian who went from unengaged voter to a "field commander of sorts" for the Obama campaign. Jose weaves a tale of how Bailey took to the Internet to create a new activist role for herself in her fifth decade of life. It's nice to flesh out a profile of a real live person for whom technology really is changing politics.

  • Politico's Ben Smith and Little Green Footballs' Charles Johnson are continuing the brouhaha over whether candidates like Barack Obama can be held responsible for questionable comments and diaries that appear on their websites, with Smith throwing LGF's own hands-off comment policy in Johnson's face. Burn...

The Candidates on the Web

  • Marc Ambinder has a provocative post deconstructing how Obama's approach to working with supporters solved the classic economic "free rider" problem by creating a powerful feedback loop for supporters both online and off. How'd they do it? With a dash of smart planning and few sprinkles of luck, both good and bad. Ambinder details how Team Obama demonstrated how their individual work contributed to the overall effort, ceded control to give volunteers a sense of ownership, pulled out a victory in Iowa ("we're really can do it together!") and came up short in New Hampshire ("uh oh -- they really need our help.")

  • After quirky underdog Steve Novick came this close to winning Oregon's Senate primary on the Democratic side, his campaign griped that despite their remarkable success on YouTube, they never knew whether their views were coming from Portland or Norway. YouTube's Aaron Zamost details how the campaign could have used their Insight tool to slice and dice their viewer data. That's useful information for any campaign.

  • Though her boss is, technically, still in the race, Ron Paul's eCampaign Director Justine Lam has left her post at the head of the campaign's innovative Internet strategy to join's network of local political sites as their new director of online marketing.

  • "We're going through a process where you get a whole bunch of names, and ya ... Well, basically, it's a Google." -- John McCain joking about his method of vetting potential VP candidates. How embarrassing! Senator, the correct usage is "the Google."

In Case You Missed It...

Remember when gossip blogger Perez Hilton passionately endorsed Hillary Clinton just before her California primary win? You don't? Well, Morra Aarons sure does. She's a faithful reader and asks "Whose non-politico political commentary do you read?"

American politics is moving from a sound bite to "sound burst" era, said TechPresident's Andrew Raseij in an interview with American Public Media's Future Tense. Want proof? Andrew reminds us that Obama's 37-minute speech on race has been viewed to completion a mind-blowing 7 million times.

Gather round, for Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall has an endorsement: "If you're going to pick one year to go to the annual Personal Democracy Forum conference this is the year to do it..."