Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?


Echoing this post over at’s PA Votes ’08 blog, I will cop to having a little bit of election fatigue myself – and it’s only April.

My own story includes robocalls from Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton, two canvassers from the Obama campaign at my front door (to whom I said I was undecided), and mail from Obama, Larry Farnese, John Dougherty, Anne Dicker, Babette Josephs, Peggy Banaszek and Rob McCord.  If you don’t know who those “non-Obama” folks are, check out the League of Women Voters guide.

Now I’m preparing for WHYY’s Election Night coverage, airing tomorrow on Channel 12 from 8pm to 10pm (or longer if necessary).  My task is to talk to television-watching folks about what they’re missing on the wide wide world of world wide web if they’re not tuned into the internet.  I’ll probably also have to explain that the blogosphere is not crappy Pauly Shore/Stephen Baldwin movie.

Any suggestions for what the major “internet stories” of the past 7 weeks have been?  Feel free to comment.

So far I have:

1. More folks watching the Youtube version of Obama’s speech on race than watched it on all of the cable channels combined.  The speech itself was made in response to the uproar over comments made by his pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  The video of those comments, once they aired on television, were easily shared and are still available on any number of websites.

2. News about Obama’s remarks regarding how small town residents of Pennsylvania have based more of their vote on social issues, like religion and gun control, than economic issues, was broken by a “citizen journalist” as part of the Huffington Post’s “Off The Bus” project.

3. John McCain’s wife Cindy apparently mistook “McCain Family Recipes” for 30-minute meals. (Also first reported on HuffPo.)

4. The massive internet backlash against ABC News – specifically Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous – for its performance with the Democratic debate last week.  So far, this post of the debate story on ABC’s website has gotten over 19,000 comments.  If only I could get that kind of traffic.  Is that the trick?  Hold a crappy debate?  Countless other blogosphere residents weighed in more on the performance of the moderators than the performance of the candidates – a point very clearly made by NYT’s Adam Nagourney.

5. “The Facebook” election.  My 5-person focus group last Friday notwithstanding, many people – especially younger voters – have been getting their information about the election through various social networking site like Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace.  They’ve also been offering their own commentary on countless personal blogs or as comments to more “institutional” blogs and participating in the process more directly with user-generated video that is easily shared on Youtube.

6. The idea that Obama’s campaign wouldn’t have existed a few years ago.  He essentially picked up where Howard Dean left off in 2004 and out-Deaned every aspect of a successful, internet-based, viral-marketing campaign.  They’ve left no stone unturned or web application unused in their efforts to raise more money and organize more volunteers.  Back in the summertime, the talk was about the “inevitability” of the Clinton nomination.  The Obama campaign pressed on with its organizing efforts, scoring a shocking victory in Iowa, and has essentially ridden that wave ever since.  The internet leveled the playing field and now it seems like the only thing keeping the Clinton campaign afloat is the last vestiges of that inevitability story.  (For a simple comparison, consider the number of Facebook “supporters” for each campaign.  Obama has over 781,000 friends.  Clinton has just over 148,000.  McCain has a little over 114,000.)

Can you think of any more?  Fire away.


One Response to “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”

  1. romon Says:

    I believe Bill and Hillary will say or do anything to win, including playing the race card. It is to bad so many people will win at all cost

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