A few weeks ago, I weighed in on the emergence of internet video campaigning in the ’08 elections. Since Edwards’ announcement on YouTube, Clinton and Obama have both come out with similar videos announcing their intentions to run.
I applaud all three for capitalizing on the growing popularity of internet video- it is a great political move that will resonate with an essential demographic. Their efforts also help to give weight and credibility to internet video as a medium and a news outlet in general.
Nonetheless, I maintain that internet video campaigning, which is both inexpensive and easily dispersed, will not sustain over the next 22 months as a controlled entity. These fabricated videos of Edwards in jeans connecting with the people of New Orleans and of Hillary seated on a flowery couch in a cozy living room will not be the ultimate picture of internet video campaigning in ’08. While I agree with others that this will be the YouTube Presidency, I don’t think that the internet video revolution will continue to be so malleable and controllable, and I certainly don’t think it will always work in candidates’ favors. As Susan Estrich predicts in a recent article, “The internet will decide this election. Whoever figures out how to use it best, whoever is helped most or hurt least by its reach, will win.” I think we all have alot to look forward to in terms of the kinds of videos we can expect to find their way to the internet from the campaign trail…
What do people in the diner think: Will this be a politically profitable medium? Does it speak to the viability of internet video as a campaign tool that only Democrats have employed it so far? Are Republicans missing out?