Daily Digest: Holding Feet to the Fire Without Getting Burned
BY Nancy Scola | Friday, June 27 2008
The Web on the Candidates
Now that we're down to two major party presidential candidates -- John McCain and Barack Obama -- do partisan voters and activists have any hope of holding their nominee accountable before election day? Open Left's Mike Lux doesn't think so, writing that the time has passed for the netroots to try to influence Obama's trajectory. Says Mike: "[T]his is a place where the old-school politico in me takes over: I see no choice other than to be totally, thoroughly in the tank for the Democratic Presidential nominee in the five months."
Of course, there are those not so ready to give up the ghost. Example one: MyBarackObama.com, Obama's own social networking site, is teaching the campaign what it feels like when your machines turn against you. A new group called "Senator Obama - Please Vote Against FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act]" is sporting 450 members and counting. MyBO was set up to facilitate self-organization in support of the Obama, but here it's being used to instruct the candidate on how to do his day job in the Senate. Of course, give your core community a stake in your campaign 2.0 and they may well expect to have some input in how you govern 2.0. Mike Stark has the details. (Thx Brett Schenker)
And example two: United by their commitment to civil liberties, Ron Paul's online supporters and some high-profile bloggers on the left, including Firedoglake's Jane Hamsher, are teaming up to coordinate an online "money bomb" around the upcoming FISA vote, reports the Wall Street Journal's Amy Schatz. According to Accountability Now, the bi-partisan PAC set up to organize the effort around "a defense of our basic constitutional framework [and] restoring core political liberties," the money will go, in part, to challenging candidates who "trample upon those values" and supporting those who defend them.
The Next Right's Patrick Ruffini tells fellow conservatives that they need to start seeing all this messing around on the Internet as a both play and work.
The Candidates on the Web
John McCain is keeping up a focus on energy policy, and a new web ad from the McCain camp casts Obama as "Dr. No" when it comes to that space -- no on offshore drilling, no on nuclear energy dependence, no on a gas tax "holiday." But Dick Cheney's favorite web resource FactCheck.org from the Annenberg Public Policy Center finds the ad misleading, particularly where it implies that Obama has stood in the way of innovation on the energy front. (FactCheck adds an quirky footnote about how the plot of the 1962 "Dr. No" film staring Sean Connery involved a nuclear reactor meltdown.)
Writing about a new study just out from the PR firm Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Jose Antonio Vargas says that, when it comes to young voters, "it's the medium, not the messenger."
Baraculture watch: This outdoor mural by the artist Koolhats in Denver's Sante Fe art district has been viewed on Flickr more than 87,000 times. (Via BallotVox)
TechCongress and Beyond
In Case You Missed It...
Writing about Personal Democracy Forum 2008, Deanna Zandt makes the point that conferences -- tech and otherwise -- are like gene pools: they need diversity to thrive.