In a move that hearkens back to then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign appearance on Mtv, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is appealing to popular culture, and younger voters, by making use of a popular media platform. Specifically, Vilsack has begun a video blog, or vlog, using YouTube and maintains a page on MySpace. Both of which are popular destinations for younger web-savvy Internet users. MySpace alone claims to reach 89 percent of all 13 to 24 year olds. If his online bid is successful Vilsack will effectively reach the largest body of voters who represent the smallest turnout at polls.
Vilsack’s efforts mark the first time that the web has been used by a potential presidential candidate to reach out to voters. “I want the chance to visit with you using the technology of today and tomorrow,” says Vilsack in his MySpace Video. Essentially the digital equivalent of stumping, it remains to be seen if Vilsack’s online bid, and other campaign efforts, will generate a nomination from the Democratic Party. Nonetheless, making use of online resources and social networking represents a genuine first the American political machine.
What does this mean for the future? Potentially nothing. It is also conceivable that Vilsack is setting a precedent that other candidates will follow. A successful campaign depends on a candidate getting his (or her, let’s not discount Ms. Clinton’s chances) message to the most people in the clearest, most efficient manner. Using the internet very nearly allows a candidate to be in two places at once: online and in-person. The deciding factor will still be whether or not Vilsack A.) Reaches his target audience, and B.) Whether or not they pay attention to, or agree with what he has to say.
For more information and resources about Mr. Vilsack and his campaign see the following:
His website located here It’s worth a look. He really does have a good, clean, and informative website.
His MySpace Page located here
His YouTube Video Blog located here
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