Four Years Later, Great Ideas Are Going Direct To Voter

What a difference a cycle makes. Already, we are seeing more and more great pieces written about the impact of new media on the election. It is far greater than is apparent in just the massive online fundraising numbers that Barack Obama is posting from online donors.

As Peter Daou aptly pointed out, the netroots carried forth when many traditional sources of power were silenced.

The other day Arianna brought up the fact that the Republicans are running from an old playbook, one where the traditional media takes any charge, say whether a candidate actually earned his purple hearts, and carries it forward donkey-esque as the 'other side of the story.' While this ignores a basic relationship, the opposite of the truth is a lie not another truth, it's how politics used to work (and still does partially.)

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What we have learned from presidential campaigns,


At the end of the "Morning Joe" show each morning, each of the three regulars makes a tongue-in-cheek statement of what each has learned today. So, what have we learned from the campaigns for president? We have learned that:

You can actually see Russia from Alaska

Ordinary workers at their tasks determine the fundamental soundness of the U.S. economy

Obama's use of "look" to introduce a thought has spread to pundits and other politicians

The negative and misleading ads of the McCain campaign were caused by Obama's refusal to engage in a series of town hall debates

Small town people can be bitter and cling to guns or religion

Hillary Clinton will be ready on day one

McCain has the requisite experience; Obama gave a speech

Obama is a Christian, as far as Hillary knows

Hillary Clinton is from Scranton

Dennis Kucinich is conversant with UFOs

Dennis Kucinich has a gorgeous wife

Joe Biden can give a one word answer

Joe Biden's wife is "drop-dead gorgeous"

Ron Paul is angry, but not as angry as Mike Gravel

Sarah Palin may be kept in Social Security's lock box until the election

Sarah Palin can field dress a moose.

John McCain has heard of the e-mail and the google, but is unaware of possible use of telecommuncations and airplanes between Washington and campaign or debate locations

There is such a thing as credit default swaps


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The Economy is Taking Over The Campaigns

On a day when the Federal Reserve puts up an $85 Billion loan to AIG, after Lehman Brothers fell yesterday and Bank of America ate up Merril Lynch, both Presidential candidates are releasing new commercials pushing their economic plans. The economy is not likely to get better anytime soon, and neither candidate is doing anything to create new jobs, other than talk about the problem.

In comparing the two candidates' positions, Obama has a slight edge in terms of credibility: his economic plan was not created by the lobbyists and former Republican congress folk (like Phil Gramm) who got us into this mess in the first place. To hear McCain say that he is going to set up a Commission, like the 9/11 Commission that was virtually ignored by the current administration, is a confirmstion that he will talk big but do nothing. At least Obama has posted a fairly detailed economic plan that would change the government's overall approach significantly.

The best thing the political discussion on the economy has done is that it has removed the ongoing fluff about Sarah Palin from the Main Stream Media. That, in a way, is a blessed relief. Since she is not going to be interviewed directly by the press and will continue in highly controlled and scripted appearances, it is better to have the media looking away from her. There is nothing there and so many important things - like the economy - need to be on the active agenda.

As we get closer to the Presidential debates, having real issues to discuss will elevate the campaigns (and Reuters/Zogby has just put out the latest poll that has once again pulled Obama ahead  - it looks like folks don't think the "fundamentals of the economy are strong.")

Let's watch closely where we go from here. There are 48 days left.

Under The LobsterScope

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Netroots Rising: Different Takes on Online Campaigns

One of our goals when we set out to write a history of the rise of netroots politics from 2002 to 2006 was to document a variety of different perspectives on the phenomenon. Not just the usual cheerleaders of online politics, but also candidates, campaign consultants, and even Republicans.

We're using the book's website as a kind of online appendix to the book where we post complete interviews, sections that didn't make it into the book and other items of interest to readers of the book.

Here are some of the interviews we've posted thus far:

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Tales from Front Doors - a precinct walking smile for today

This is partially an excerpt from a Anna Lord SquareState diary with an added "bonus" story. Crossposted at DKos

The Anna Lord for House District 21 campaign began our 2008 walking campaign this weekend.

In 2006 Anna's walk plan was to knock on the doors of Dems, unaffiliated voters and  households with a Republican woman under 50.  She wore a pedometer when she walked in 2006 and logged 115 miles before she lost it in October.

The great thing about walking is the characters you meet. Here are two of the stories below the fold:

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