Technology

Gore Says Internet Will Reduce Influence of Money in Politics

Al Gore said the Internet would eventually lessen the role of money in politics, Tech Crunch reports.

Said Gore: “Over time, the rise of the Internet will inexorably diminish the role of money in politics, which is driven today in significant measure by the need on the part of politicians to amass these huge war chests primarily for buying 30-second television advertisements.”

He added: “And as the Internet becomes more prominent and eventually the central way in which we communicate, it does bring the promise of re-empowering individuals to play their roles as citizens and to revitalize representative democracy.”

How Twitter Distorts Politics

First Read: “We’ll make one more point about Hagel’s hearing yesterday: Twitter and all the instant analysis made a bad performance look even worse — just like Twitter and instant analysis made Romney’s Ford Field speech, Donald Verrilli’s Supreme Court oral argument, and Barack Obama’s first debate all seem worse. And what eventually happened in those instances? Romney went on to win the GOP nomination, the Supreme Court upheld the health-care law, and Obama won the general election by four percentage points. So those things are a reminder that while Twitter and instant analysis can get the style right, they’re not as good when evaluating the substance or the overall political reality. And that’s a good lesson for all of us to keep in mind.”

How Technology Has Restored the Soul of Politics

Joe Trippi: “All these changes in democratic politics will be profound, although not all the consequences will be good. New technologies can manipulate, empower, or do both. There will be plenty of actors in both politics and business who will use the innovations of the Obama 2012 campaign as tools to manipulate people. But for me, right now, it feels as if technology has empowered people and given politics back its soul.”

Inside Obama’s Voter Database

The Washington Post has an interesting report on the Obama campaign’s voter database which pairs voting records with political donation histories and vast amounts of personal but publicly available consumer data.

“Campaign workers added far more detail through a broad range of voter contacts — in person, on the phone, over e-mail or through visits to the campaign’s Web site. Those who used its Facebook app, for example, had their files updated with lists of their Facebook friends along with scores measuring the intensity of those relationships and whether they lived in swing states. If their last names seemed Hispanic, a key target group for the campaign, the database recorded that, too.”

“To maintain their advantage, Democrats say they must guard against the propensity of political data to deteriorate in off years, when funding and attention dwindles, while navigating the inevitable intra-party squabbles over who gets access now that the unifying forces of a billion-dollar presidential campaign are gone.”

Quote of the Day

“We’ve got to be a kind of pro-science and pro-technology party. And I think Marco Rubio is just that. On the Earth question, I guess I have to read more closely in terms of getting a better understanding, but, yeah, kind of a strange response, I guess.”

— Jeb Bush Jr., quoted by the Washington Post, saying Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) response to a question about the age of the Earth was a “head scratching type of answer.”

Techies Move Into Campaigns

Bloomberg looks at “the rise of a new professional, political class: a core group of young technology experts who are shunning traditional campaign titles, starting companies and making millions off the most expensive presidential campaign in history. They are cutting a path similar to the one etched by television ad makers in the 1980s, with a dose of Silicon Valley and the dot-com boom’s edginess.”

RNC Seeks to Turn Facebook Into a Political Tool

The RNC “is preparing to launch a new Facebook tool that lets users share news, talking points and the latest updates about the presidential campaign with their friends,” CNN reports.

“Republicans using the application will be able do the work usually reserved for campaign offices simply by logging into Facebook from their personal computers… They can fill out and submit absentee ballot applications, see early voting deadlines, donate to the party or inform their friends about upcoming campaign event… all while never leaving Facebook. And simply by clicking a button, a user’s phone will ring and automatically re-connect them, via RNC headquarters, to targeted voters in key states.”

140 Best Twitter Feeds

Thanks to Time magazine for naming @politicalwire as one of the best Twitter feeds!

Other notable political feeds include: Andy Borowitz (@BorowitzReport), Barack Obama (@BarackObama), Michelle
Obama (@MichelleObama), Mitt Romney (@MittRomney), Rick Santorum
(@RickSantorum), Newt Gingrich (@NewtGingrich), Alec Ross (@AlecJRoss),
Ezra Klein (@EzraKlein), Karen Tumulty (@Ktumulty), Dave Weigel
(@DaveWeigel) and Mark Knoller (@MarkKnoller).