Will John McCain Pull A Hillary When It Comes To Internet Media?

Jun 8th, 2008 | By | Category: General

The SFGate has published an interesting piece that looks at how Internet media affected Hillary Clinton‘s campaign:

What hurt Clinton most, political analysts say, is that she couldn’t consistently use the newfound ubiquity of video to soften her image with voters. Or, as George Washington University Professor and new-media analyst Michael Cornfeld said, “It’s like the Clintons, both of them, had sort of a ‘Sunset Boulevard’ thing going on. They were silent screen stars who couldn’t make the transition to talkies.”

Conquering video in the digital age has less to do with being telegenic or smart, as both Clintons are. Being a politician in the YouTube era means being comfortable with giving up control of your message and realizing that everything you say or do can be uploaded within minutes for the whole world to see – and then mashed up into something new.

“Hillary’s announcement video had really high production values, like it was a made-for-TV movie,” said Dan Manatt, executive producer of PoliticsTV.com, a political video site.

So were her first Web chats, where she answered questions from voters. They may have looked good, but they weren’t the stuff that generates buzz for a campaign.

“The Web values authenticity,” Manatt said, “and these were seen as staged and scripted and inauthentic.”

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has proven to be very adept at using Internet media – embracing not just podcasting, but Twitter, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube & more.

This has helped get his message out inexpensively and has proven to be an effective fundraising strategy.

Will McCain Pull A Hillary?

While Obama has used Internet media very effectively, John McCain seems tentative. He hasn’t embraced social media to the extent that Obama has, so he’s not bringing his message to many of the places where people are spending their time.

He has just now added a blog to his site, and it can only be described as awkward.

The blog encourages you to take a chance on McCainbecause he’s a huge ABBA fan.

McCain needs to use his blog, and other Internet media options, to do more than tell us he’s a big ABBA fan. He needs to use it to explain his position on the war, to connect with social media users and just to get his message out.

If he can’t do that, he’s going to face an uphill climb in the general election.

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