In 2004 Howard Dean pioneered successful fundraising on the Internet, and of course it's obligatory for every candidate (and every mouthy person like me who isn't running for anything) to have a Web site. We're seeing an expansion of political Internet use in this year's -- well, next year's, but who's counting in the Campaign Eternal? -- presidential race.
According to this interesting story, candidates are increasingly using MySpace, Facebook and YouTube as part of their campaigns, apparently largely to appeal to younger voters. There's Joe, age 64, from Delaware, who's a Scorpio -- Joe Biden, of course, "looking for friends." And Bill, 6'2", "Latino/Hispanic" and "straight, also a Scorpio. Bill Richardson. Before he thought better of it Mitt Romney filled in the blank for body type as "6'0"/Athletic" and Obama listed himself as "Slim/Slender" before he apparently thought it was too much like looking for a hookup, or at least a little creepy.
When I talked to Kent Snyder, campaign manager for Ron Paul, my own personal favorite of the candidates running, he told me that people would look back on this year as the year the Internet transformed presidential politics, almost as dramatically as TV transformed national politics in 1960 or so. And he's proud to say that despite having received almost no national publicity and having enough money to have a campaign organization and travel respectably but not much more, Ron is now #2 among GOP candidates on both MySpace and YouTube. We'll see whether that and being the only candidate during early debates who actually can believably claim he would be guided by the Constitution if elected will translate into primary votes