Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Clergy for Obama Blog
The Obama campaign has a blog for Clergy! It's complete with articles by various religious types talking about why Obama is a good choice, etc. As far as I can tell, there is no equivalent blog being maintained by the McCain campaign. This brings up something fascinating... ***CORRECTION: I've been told that the Clergy-for-Obama blog is actually not maintained by the Obama Campaign, just a group of clergy working at the grassroots level (see the comments to the post).***
A while back I gave a modest donation to the Obama campaign ($25). Doing so automatically set-up a "my.barackobama.com" portal. Anybody that gives the Obama Campaign can have their own little website with a blog and calendar of upcoming election events and news feeds, etc. But it gets better: you get a score (labeled "Activity Index") based on how much you've done to promote the campaign. There are a bunch of suggested activities you can do to raise the score--like volunteering at the local office or hosting an Obama-party in your home. This means that the Obama campaign has a HUGE database of potential campaign workers. In fact, they even have a way to quantify the level of commitment and preferred activities of these donors. It's obviously the front-end of a remarkably complex social-networking system applied to political organization.
The news media says that Obama has taken his campaign's organization to the next level, and I see what they mean. From the news accounts it sounds like the GOP is using the same ground game tactics as four years ago, while the Obama folks are totally reinventing the paradigm. You could say that this is what happens when you have raised $605 Million to date, but it's also true that the Obama campaign's extraordinary organizational skills were what won him the primaries against Hillary back when that seemed impossible given her fundraising advantage at the time. So this use of new technology (the model of a social-networking site) is just another sign of a very forward-thinking campaign staff. It would be fascinating to talk to the IT team behind Obama's machine.
Meanwhile, check out the hilarious appearance by Sarah Palin on SNL this weekend.