Thursday, February 05, 2004

Headed to the Dean Dome to watch the Heels play Dook...UNC has ten victories over #1 ranked teams, tied with UCLA as the leading giant-killer in NCAA history...maybe tonight they'll take the lead in that category.

6:06:11 PM    comment []

John Edwards says things no presidential candidate has said before...Really. That was the Top Ten list he read last night on Letterman (clip here).

10. "Vote for me or I'll slash your tires"

9. "Forget universal health care -- I'm buying every American an XBox"

7. "I'd give you my plan for economic recovery if I wasn't rip stinkin' drunk"

3. "Lady, that is one ugly baby"

1. "Read my lips: no new wardrobe malfunctions"

4:31:28 PM    comment []

Was the Dean campaign a huge Intranet that thought it was the Internet?

A few key passages from a Salon article by a Dean volunteer, Losing my religion:

I'd assumed that Des Moines would be a cow town.

He reached to the hands that reached up to him, but now it was obvious to me that he was touching the hands of the converted...Dean talked to multitudes and not to me.

As for Internet organizing, we're clearly still beta-testing, learning what it can and can't do...Web sites can get a political campaign rolling by hooking up like-minded people through devices like raise millions of dollars from small donors...It can't, by itself, extrapolate those beginnings into an efficient traditional precinct organization. It can't help grassroots neophytes connect in a credible way with existing social and political networks in their own communities. It can't create human connections strong enough to survive more than 600 televised repetitions of a man yelling too loud.

Some questions, then, to ask Joe Trippi on Monday: How does a campaign "extrapolate those beginnings"? What specific steps would he have taken in terms of training and organizing volunteers, knowing what he knows now?

There was an interesting conversation at the meeting that led to the upcoming Teach-In about the power of established groups (eg labor unions, Focus on the Family) -- how should online campaigns work with these more traditional organizations? Around here, some people are wondering now about the Bowles campaign's ability to leverage both an online organization and the NC Democratic party.

Networking has to lead to internetworking in order to support a campaign of a certain size.

11:40:34 AM    comment []

Remember Afghanistan?

"(T)wo years after the defeat of the Taliban, none of these programs has been particularly effective. They lack sufficient funds, expertise, and willingness to confront major problems." From a long, depressing article, The Mess in Afghanistan, in The New York Review of Books, Feb. 12.

And in the same issue, Russell Baker on Warren Harding: "In 1920 [American voters] were a nation desperate for relief from greatness."

9:11:01 AM    comment []

Postmodern North Carolina: Gerald Hege, a real-life parody of a tough-guy Southern sheriff, is the subject of satire in a tongue-in-cheek newspaper, but he doesn't get the joke, so the paper 'splains it to him, real slow.

8:46:19 AM    comment []