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Candidates For RNC Chair Duke It Out (Sort of) Online

BY Michael Turk | Monday, January 5 2009

As the battle for the RNC Chairman gig heats up, Americans for Tax Reform is hosting a debate among the half dozen candidates vying for the job. The debate is happening now at http://rncdebate.org/. The live webcast by ATR is a step in the right direction for the GOP.

It's not specifically a tech-politics related event, but it's good to see the right opening up and broadcasting the debate publicly. ATR also opened up the discussion to the public and took questions online.

I'll recap the event afterward with thoughts.

Update: Well, I will say one thing, I honestly never expected to hear candidates for RNC Chair spend that much time talking about Twitter and Facebook, let alone how many friends they have. It was actually refreshing to hear them pay more than lip service to the Internet.

Unfortunately, the one comment that stood out was Mike Duncan's comment that "I don't have to use it to understand it's important." On the heels of John 'my wife reads my e-mail to me' McCain's disastrous showing and lack of a coherent Internet strategy, that's exactly the wrong attitude.

Now maybe it's just because I'm vehemently opposed to Duncan being Chair for another day, let alone two years, but it worries me that someone running for Chair is actually comfortable saying something that dumb in a room full of people.

I will say that I have hope the GOP will begin to take the Internet seriously, but I also think the driving force behind a robust online party needs to be the grassroots, not the national committee.