Dave: Will the Republicans blog? Will George Bush make use of blogs? Matt: His message is already spinning out of control, he doesn’t need additional randomization. Eric: In 2000 the Republicans were really good about pumping out stuff to the fan base. They were way ahead of us. We’re writing to our base. Dave: What about after the election? Matt: Look for the White House Blog.
Audience Republican member: The Bush folks sent out an email that we could incorporate a sidebar on our site to include headlines from their site, it wasn’t interesting to me.
Glenn Reynolds: I’m not a Republican, I voted Clinton in 1992 and worked on Gore’s campaign in ’88. And they’re really far behind. Karl Rove wrote their strategy, and he’s a control freak. And there are some things that could happen on the blog that could spin out of control. Matt: Real leadership means letting go of control. Eric: We’re only worried about technical issues. Matt: Worst case scenario, we melt down.
Matt: We just keep an idea out for the trolls. We all started the Troll Fund. Every time someone comes in and makes a troll comment, we all kick in $10 to the Dean campaign. It tends to stop the trolls.
Question: What about cyberwarfare? What about official commitments to get candidate involvement? Cam: We have to work with the schedulers to get candidate involvement, and they don’t exactly understand blogs.
Question: What about control? The Dean campaign is probably the most open. Cam, do you want the Clark campaign to be as open? Cam: Not jealous, respectful, and we want to implement a lot of the Dean campaign ideas.
Question: How do people really influence the campaigns? Matt: Bush raised $5 million in $2000 checks, Dean raised $5 million in $87 checks. Dave: What about answering questions? What about raising money on the Internet and giving it to Hollywood to make TV commercials? … Matt: We are going to get the money out into the communities to empower people.
Amy Wohl: $5 million in $87 contributions is a hell of a lot more votes than $5 million in $2000 contributions. But what about hearing the candidate’s voice? None of these campaign blogs are the campaign blogging. Matt: Yeah, but it’s really hard to do it. We don’t pretend it’s a candidate’s blog, it’s a campaign blog. I don’t think Glenn Reynolds could do it. (Glenn: If elected, I will not serve!)
Mike Huff: If you think the campaign is intense now, it’s nothing—having worked on two campaigns now—like what it’ll be the day after New Hampshire. Matt: The human contact is the best we can do right now. Eric: Right now we just raise money for the general. After the primary, we let the candidate handle the message and we try to get the vote out.