Saturday, July 28, 2007

More YouTube Debate Fallout

More excellent analysis, this time from a GOP operative, on the strategic importance of the YouTube debate:

This is not an emotional issue for me. It is rather a business decision about whether or not the Republican Party will be able to compete effectively over the next twenty years or so. The media business has had to respond to the brutal realities of the digital world; in his most candid moments, the editor of the New York Times talks about the death of the print edition. Is anyone thinking about what GOP, Inc. looks like 10 or 15 years from now?

[moving on...]

In 2004, the Democrats could have expected to be outspent by 2-to-1. In March 2008, it's the Republicans who'll have to brace for that fate. As Zack correctly notes, Democratic online fundraising has proven to be just as potent as Republican bundler programs AND Democrats now have bundlers of their own. (Sorry guys, but this was entirely preventable.)

This is the part where you're wondering, what in the heck does YouTube have to do with money? If I go on YouTube, will I raise tens of millions? You have to be kidding right? I'm glad you asked.

At the end of the day, the issue is not YouTube. The YouTube debate snub is the symptom, not the disease. If Republicans fret about a simple debate format, which is really just the modern version of the 1992 townhall debate, how in the heck are we going to be make the really bold, gutsy decisions to transform our campaigns so we can raise over $100 million online and recruit millions -- yes millions -- of volunteers over the Internet?

If our campaign operatives believe the comfortable lie that 95% or more of the action is offline, we will never have the vision or the capacity or the incentive to change. We will never announce our candidacies online. We will never do a Sopranos video. We will never successfully inflict a Macaca moment on a vulnerable Democrat. We will never raise any real money online. We will never build the kind of organically grown lists of 2-3 million that MoveOn or the Kerry campaign or ONE built. We will never have the courage to empower our supporters to power us out the rough patches, as John McCain could easily have done two weeks ago.

Wow. The very first post on this blog was about the new GOP internet director's reluctance to delve into the world of online social networking -- but if this is the sign of arguments to come then that policy will likely change.

MORE: from TPM.

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