Since the ‘04 Howard Dean campaign, the Internet has been seen as fertile ground for presidential candidates. But the advent of a possible candidacy by former Senator Fred Thompson could take online politics to a new level. In this exclusive article for Pajamas Media, Thompson reveals a respect for the ‘net and its importance to democracy that could only come from a true web surfer. If the six-time weekly winner of the PJM Presidential Straw Poll is actually elected President, are we looking at … the First Blogger?
Are we? Read Thompson's article here.
TechPresident's Alan Rosenblatt does not think he is the "first political candidate to truly understand the revolutionary changes brought by the internet to politics".
He may be the first Republican to really get it, but there is strong evidence that Obama and Edwards get it, too. And don't forget Howard Dean. And what about Utah Democratic candidate for Senate in 2006, Pete Ashdown? He used a wiki to invite voters to help him formulate his policy platform.
But while Thompson understands that social networks and blogs allow candidates to speak directly to the voters, it remains to be seen whether his message works in these communities.
In the end, the measure of how well he gets the internet depends on how well he understands that he cannot tightly control his message in an online environment. Can he successfully embrace and manage the chaos? Time will tell.