Heck no, everybody knows Al Gore did that but the Big O’s presidential campaign did leverage the Internet to an unprecedented degree, and he will continue to do so as President.
Obama’s Internet strategy promises to be the biggest change in presidential communications since JFK began using television to take his message to the public half a century ago. In reaching directly to supporters using the Internet, the Big O can bypass the mainstream media any time he wants.
Already the Big O’s www.change.gov Web site incorporates suggestion forms and a blog, harbingers of the sort of immediate feedback his administration will encourage.
But the centerpiece of Obama’s communication strategy will be his email database, which contains 10 million names. 3.1 million people in that database gave money to his campaign. Millions more volunteered to register new voters, organize those scintillating rallies, garner support from wavering voters and generally help the man become President.
The Big O will be banking on those supporters to lobby congress in support of his initiatives, provide feedback on his policies, and get out the vote for his preferred candidates come the 2010 midterm elections.
Smelling a goldmine, Peter Greenberger, Google’s manager of political advertising suggested that the Big O could combine an ad strategy with his database to recruit support for his policies. “If there’s an article in the New York Times or the Washington Post about health-care legislation,” Greenberger told the Post, “the administration or a pro-Obama advocacy organization could run an ad right alongside it.”
Even some Republicans have taken note. Recently, several members launched www.rebuildtheparty.com which implores the next party chairman to start an Internet-based organization like the one that helped oust them last week.
“Online organizing is by far the most efficient way to transform our party structures to be able to compete against what is likely to be a $1 billion Obama re-election campaign in 2012,” according to the site.