Tuesday, January 20, 2004

A Winston-Salem City Council member, inspired by Alabama ex-judge Roy Moore, had a one-ton 10 Commandments monument erected in front of City Hall, which was closed for MLK day. The city has already removed the monument.

Councilman Vernon Robinson is running as a Republican for the 5th Congressional district seat to be vacated by Richard Burr, himself a candidate for the US Senate seat to be vacated by John Edwards.

Robinson even took it upon himself to sign the work widely attributed to God. W-S Journal: "Below the Ten Commandments is an inscription that says: 'A project of Councilman Vernon Robinson, January 2004.'"

4:27:11 PM    comment []

Eric Muller celebrates the first birthday of his blog by posting much of Bush's 2003 State of the Union address.

2:23:56 PM    comment []

I guest-posted at the Bowles Blog about post-Iowa online campaigning.

My guess is that a lot of old-school campaign pros are exhaling with relief about now, wrongly assuming that their jobs are safe and we can all go back to business as usual.

That's not the mindset on the Bowles team, fortunately, from what I can tell.

This is the next test of online campaigning: how does a more traditional campaign deploy Internet tools most effectively?

Remember, Wal-Mart and other bricks-and-mortar retailers figured out e-commerce pretty well. And even Amazon had to become more like its established rivals to succeed.

1:54:48 PM    comment []

Another Internet bubble popped.

Thank God.

Nothing against Howard Dean -- he has done the Dems a real service by firing people up, by pushing his opponents to get their acts together, and most of all by pioneering online campaigning. But you need more than tools to win.

You need a candidate, and a message. Dean's message, perhaps unfairly, was perceived by many to be angry and limited. Edwards is optimistic, Kerry has gravitas. They both speak better in person and on TV than does the doctor.

You need TV and other mass media. One of the central fallacies of many Internet cultists is the either/or dichotomy -- that blogs kill newspapers, Meetups replace TV, etc. This is a wakeup call from that dream.

Like the stock bubble, this deflation could obscure the value of the technology beneath the hype. That would be a mistake. The Internet is a critical means of communication and organization for campaigns, cheap and ubiquitous. It took Dean from zero to third place, made him a contender from nothing, and that's incredible.

The worst thing that could happen to Kerry and Edwards is that they discount the Internet in Iowa's wake. A visitor to this blog joked last night that maybe Channel Dean had been cancelled. But the fact is that other campaigns would be wise to put a similar news aggregation service into use as soon as possible.

The best thing that could happen to the Democrats is for Karl Rove to breathe easy and say, forget this Internet stuff, it failed Dean, we'll stick with what we know. I doubt that will happen. He's too smart.

If the Democrats can field a candidate with wide appeal, who uses the Internet with the skill of the Dean campaign while doing all the other stuff that the Net is supposed to facilitate, not replace -- then they may have a chance in November.

7:02:07 AM    comment []

Edwards, Kerry.

Panthers, Patriots.


6:25:02 AM    comment []