It already has launched one candidacy, helped to raise record amounts of money and prompted fears about a new breed of anonymous political attack ads. But as a force in the 2008 presidential race, the Internet is just getting started. A good thing, too; with more than a year and a half to go before the actual election, the country is going to need all the help it can get to escape burnout.
In the article Political Candidates Have Invaded the Web And Tamed the Blogs Lee Gomes of the Wall Street Journal sums up the Internets role in the 2008 campaign so far. It doesn’t contain any spectacular revelations, but serves as a good summary for you new to the phenomenon.
However, Gomes writes:
The 2006 election is remembered as the "macaca election," for the YouTube video of a now-former senator making a racially insensitive remark. As a result, campaign managers all across the country advised their candidates to never do or say anything in public that they wouldn't want to see one day on YouTube.
The season of user-generated political videos has begun anew. Last month, a reworking of Apple's famous "1984" Macintosh TV commercial, with Hillary Clinton subbing for Big Brother, appeared online. It had been made on a Sunday afternoon -- on a Mac, of course -- by a now-former employee of one of the Obama campaign's contractors.
The ad came to the attention of political reporters (them again) as well as the Drudge Report and as a result, millions saw it. So now there is a new concern: that the Web will be home to similar kinds of video hit pieces for which no one will claim sponsorship.
This got me thinking: Did Apple have anything to do with the Hillary Clinton "1984" video, or am I just being a conspiracy theorist?
Will we see companies try to place their brand within the campaign in the moths to come - as a result of the attention the video received?
Whooo, I never saw myself as a conspiracy theorist. I guess I am.