Friday, September 28, 2007

All Politics is Local

Tip O'Neill is reputed to have coined the phrase: "All Politics is Local." Tip himself gave the credit to his father.

John Edwards held a campaign event at the University of New Hampshire with MTV and MySpace, where he fielded live questions submitted through an IM system and audience members responded to live polls. Edwards then got the chance to react to the poll results in real time with the audience.

Scott Goldberg writes:

Real-time polling allowed the audience to give feedback during the forum,
and judging from the results, Edwards fared well.

Sixty-nine percent responded to the question "What do you think
about Senator Edwards' response(s) to ALL of the questions in this Presidential
dialogue?" by saying he had “good ideas.” One percent said he was “out of
touch,” and 5% said he has “the wrong ideas.”

National candidates SHOULD be leveraging the internet to reach and interact with voters in every community. Not everyone gets the retail politics that Iowans do.

Those of us who live in major cities get major television buys of terrible 30 second commercials. Regular internet broadcasts would be a more effective and significantly less-expensive way to reach voters, not as a complete replacement to television but as a new and extremely effective channel. And, needless to say, anyone willing to log in and interact with a candidate live for an hour on the internet is a likely voter.

Candidate X does 45 minutes on health care and takes 15 minutes of questions.

The next night, or the next week, Candidate X tackles Social Security. Then the next webcast is about foreign policy.

All the while, the candidate is building a library of sticky and informative content for the website.

Your candidate does not like the filter of the news programs and the talking heads selectively choosing sound bites? Go directly to the people!

Don't have the money to compete with the front-runner's media machine? Go directly to the people!

Local, retail politics engaging voters in smaller chunks of thousands via live, interactive webcasts.

I think Tip O'Neill would have approved.

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