Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Delayed Post: Why I Voted For Obama

Why did I? Because over this seemingly interminable campaign, he kept his cool, did his best not to pander, and gave off the vibe of common sense. That his skin color differs from mine did not bother me. That I would never have a beer with him never entered my mind. He had good ideas, a great way of getting them across and he worked hard to get to him. Frankly, he is more like myself and the people I know than any presidential candidate in my lifetime (even more so than Bill Clinton) - he had pulled himself up rather than being pushed up the hill by family, he just finished paying off his student loans and so on.

I gathered most of these articles over the weekend and on Monday. Fate and work had it that I just did not have time to publish this post.

After Epic Campaign, Voters Go to Polls - NYTimes.com:
"It has rewritten the rules on how to reach voters, raise money, organize supporters, manage the news media, track and mold public opinion, and wage — and withstand — political attacks, including many carried by blogs that did not exist four years ago. It has challenged the consensus view of the American electoral battleground, suggesting that Democrats can at a minimum be competitive in states and regions that had long been Republican strongholds.

The size and makeup of the electorate could be changed because of efforts by Democrats to register and turn out new black, Hispanic and young voters. This shift may have long-lasting ramifications for what the parties do to build enduring coalitions, especially if intensive and technologically-driven voter turnout programs succeed in getting more people to the polls. Mr. McCain’s advisers expect a record-shattering turnout of 130 million people, many being brought into the political process for the first time.

“I think we’ll be analyzing this election for years as a seminal, transformative race,” said Mark McKinnon, a senior adviser to President Bush’s campaigns in 2000 and 2004. “The year campaigns leveraged the Internet in ways never imagined. The year we went to warp speed. The year the paradigm got turned upside down"

***

No matter who wins the election, Republicans and Democrats say, Mr. Obama’s efforts in places like Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia — organizing and advertising to voters who previously had little exposure to Democratic ideas and candidates — will force future candidates to think differently.

“The great impact that this election will have for the future is that it killed public financing for all time,” said Mr. McCain’s chief campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt. “That means the next Republican presidential campaign, hopefully a re-election for John McCain, will need to be a billion-dollar affair to challenge what the Democrats have accomplished with the use of the Internet and viral marketing to communicate and raise money.”

“It was a profound leap forward technologically,” Mr. Schmidt added. “Republicans will have to figure out how to compete with this in order to become competitive again at a national level and in House and Senate races.”
At this point in the article, I am saying to myself: You cna have the technology but you got to have the content, too. Imagine Don Knotts instead of Lee Majors as the Six Million Dollar Man and you should get the idea.

The changes go beyond what Mr. Obama did and reflect a cultural shift in voters, producing an audience that is at once better informed, more skeptical and, from reading blogs, sometimes trafficking in rumors or suspect information. As a result, this new electorate tends to be more questioning of what it is told by campaigns and often uses the Web to do its own fact-checking.

“You do focus groups and people say, ‘I saw that ad and I went to this Web site to check it,’ ” said David Plouffe, the Obama campaign manager. “They are policing the campaigns.”
I read this as saying the electorate has changed, maybe this Internet thing really is going to make a difference.

“Without the candidate who excites people,” Mr. Plouffe said, “you can have the greatest strategy and machinery and it won’t matter.”

Mr. Trippi, who worked for one of Mr. Obama’s rivals in the Democratic primary, former Senator John Edwards, said: “It has all come together for one guy, Barack Obama. But now that it’s happened, it’s a permanent change.”

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