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Daily Digest: Obama Turns Filmmaker to Put Keating in Play

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, October 6 2008

The Web on the Candidates

  • One Million's Moneybomb: Can a loosely-organized Facebook group best the biggest name progressive blogs when it comes to fundraising? That's the question that longtime online organizer Jon Pincus is asking. And it seems possible that a moneybomb effort launched by the One Million Strong for Barack Facebook group, which has pulled in nearly $28,000 from more than 850 people, might indeed put the group on the leaderboard ranked somewhere alongside MyDD and OpenLeft -- though below the Daily Kos empire's Orange to Blue campaign that has pulled in (some $800,000 so far, reports Jon). Though, it should be noted, those campaigns are for a full slate of Dem candidates, not just Barack Obama. #

  • Catholic Battle Over Votes Moves to YouTube: Ever since Obama selected Joe Biden as his running mate, we're heard a lot about the role that the Catholic vote will play in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. But when it comes to who Catholics might cast a ballot for, Church officials and advocates aren't letting the campaigns dictate to them -- or be the only ones using social media to persuade voters. Time Magazine recently reported that YouTube is home to "a wildly diverse collection of pastors, rabbis, imams, gurus, and pious laypeople." And with the battle over which party's ticket better captures Catholic thinking heating up in places like Biden's hometown of Scranton, churches around the country are embedding on their websites "Catholic Vote 08," a somber 3-minute YouTube video that doesn't endorse a candidate but declares that the most important issue this election is simply put, "life." #

The Candidates on the Web

  • Obama Tries to Connects the Dots with Keating Doc: The Obama campaign has kept its powder dry on the so-called Keating Five scandal -- the savings and loan controversy from the early '90s which found John McCain criticized by the Senate ethics committee for his relationship with California S&L figure Charles Keating. Until now. At noon ET today, the Obama campaign is releasing a 13 minute documentary shot in a polished doc style that would do Errol Morris proud. Politico's Mike Allen has more on the strategy behind the campaign's Keating focus. With a microsite built around the film at, what could have been dismissed as a dredging up of ancient history actually ties the Keating scandal to a powerful theme: that the crony corporatism witnessed during the S&L mess is still at play during our current economic crisis. That's a tough case to make in 30 second TV spot or two minute web ad -- much easier to lay it out in a 13 minute mini-film. And hey, why not launch it right at lunchtime east coast time, when people are looking for a little entertainment? The innovative technique all but guarantees it will attract attention: the trailer for the film has already gotten more than 270,000 views. Worth nothing is the contrast between this and how the McCain camp is treating the situation involving former Weatherman Bill Ayers -- as much as McCain would love to highlight the connection between Ayers and Obama, neither his campaign nor the RNC has produced anything like what team Obama is doing here with Keating; a search for "Ayers" on, for example, produces this: No documents were found."#

  • New Site Boils Down McCain: Do the elves in the Obama web shop ever take a break? The campaign has launched a minimalist but visually striking that displays three simple things team Obama thinks every voter should know about their opponent on Iraq, education, energy and ten other critical issue areas. Pick a topic, and the nuggets of information display bam, bam, bam. Each is linked to a primary source -- whether video or text. And, natch, a link to the Obaman take on the topic in question. It's old content in a shiny new package, but it works. #

  • Your Social Data Dashboard: If you find yourself drowning in the tidal wave of social media data that's constantly being produced around this election, have a look at Perspctv's dead-simple charts. They're a dashboard on what's being said and done about the presidential candidates doing online. (Thanks Shaun Dakin) #

TechCongress and Beyond

  • Hoekstra Tweets His Angst: Twitter has revealed an honest congressman, says the Municipalist's Craig Colgan. Just before the House vote on the revised bailout bill last week, Michigan Republican Representative Pete Hoekstra tweeted: "Deciding what to do on bailout bill.What a disappointment that Ds put junk into the bill and that Rs leadership supported it.Pathetic. [sic]" Why' does Hoekstra's impassioned tweeting make Craig such a fan? "This humanizes him, and brings him down with the rest of us, frustrated, angry, worried, tired of partisanship for its own sake." (FWIW, Hoekstra ended up voting yes.) #

  • Protection Wiki Moves to Election Mainstream: Picking up on an idea launched by Jack and Jill Politics's Baratunde Thurston, the non-profit, non-partisan Center for Media and Democracy has launched its own Election Protection Wiki. #

In Case You Missed It...

Luigi Montanez asks if a Republican National Committee's FEC filing against Obama is actually based on a fake email.

Michael Whitney highlights An Obama Minute, today's ambitious effort that aims to raise a million dollars for Obama from noon to 12:01, "helped along by an interactive billboard in Times Square."

"[F]rankly it's f---ing brilliant," says Micah Sifry about a huge electronic billboard that the California Democratic Party arranged to display text messages during a Sarah Palin speech in L.A. -- a gambit that was then streamed back to the web via UStream.

Nancy Scola looks at how the largely closed second presidential debate happening tomorrow night in Nashville has one teensy-weensy opening: a chance to whisper in moderator Tom Brokaw's ear.

And, finally, Allison Fine follows up a post on the five reasons you may have trouble voting this fall with an update on how the Social Security Administration is shutting down its databases right at the time it'd be most helpful for verifying ID-less voters.