Wednesday, May 02, 2007

That was fun while it lasted

If I were a gambling man, I would go ahead and drop a tidy sum on Fred Thompson NOT finishing in the top three if there is any truth to this article. The important part:

Thompson, his wife and advisers in Washington and Tennessee also are drawing up plans for a new style of campaign that would rely heavily on technology and his celebrity status to avoid some of the slogging through the snow in Iowa and New Hampshire that is normally required of White House hopefuls.

The advisers say Thompson, who plays District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC's "Law & Order," is researching ways to use technology -- including the Web, videoconferences and teleconferences -- to harness the enthusiasm for his candidacy among grass-roots bloggers and activists. The campaign also would rely on large events, such as those that have in part supplanted country-store campaigning for some in the Democratic field.

"Well-known candidates can do things a little differently," explained one adviser. "You show up, you're accessible, but you don't have to go to every county seat several times."

Quite honestly, whoever is selling Thompson on this strategy needs to be slapped. . .TWICE. We are not at the point where you can do this as a primary strategy. It can be helpful as part of a strategy, but cannot be your entire campaign.

Thompson's celebrity is quite simply not that big. People know him, but not in a way that transcends everything. He will need to slog it out in the snow or he will be in a lot of trouble. What is the age of the average voter voting in the Republican primaries? Is using "the Web, videoconferences and teleconferences -- to harness the enthusiasm for his candidacy among grass-roots bloggers and activists" going to grab these voters? I'm big on the technology and politics, but we are at least a decade away from the Internet having a large effect on electioneering.

Actually, if Thompson were to hire me, I would advise him to talk to Joel Surnow and sign on to play the President in next season's edition of 24. Get people to get used to the idea that way. I guarantee that it would be a far more effective strategy that what is laid out here.


Sirocco said...

I fully agree -- I am a big technology advocate, but I can't see that we've reached the point where it can replace the personal touch, especially in Iowa and New Hampshire, where this "personal touch" is all but demanded.

It sounds to me like a recipe for disaster, for teh initial primaries at least.

Anonymous said...

Wow - even Reagan worked hard when he was running for office. Sounds like Thompson, who's not anywhere as well known as Reagan was in 1980, is already trying to start taking naps before he's even started on the campaign trail. If he really wants to be President, he should act like its important to him. The Presidency is a full time job, not one where you can just show up when they call "action".

Anonymous said...

Here's some good press for Gabby....

Ann said...

I wouldn't discount the ability of the Thompson machine to make more of technology and the work of the people than we have ever seen before. The man is outpolling almost everyone in some poll or another and he hasn't even declared. The mass of voters who are looking, begging, for someone else will grab this ball and run so far and fast he won't have to do the small town cafe ala Duncan Hunter style.

Don’t forget, his wife was/is a political media consultant and this is not all new; Howard Dean became Howard Dean due to blogging, Obama has raked in his millions from internet campaigns. Fred Thompson has been getting more free earned media than some of the announced candidates have paid for, or even hoped to pay for. If he turns this whole thing upside down with his candidacy and the style of his campaign, it will be the story every other night on every channel for weeks. Free airing of the endorsements of millions of Americans rallying to his support broadcast as the story of a new style of campaigning that is both effective and efficient. The family man, the thinker, the problem solver…..