Democrat Candidates More Wired?

I added networking links for the declared presidential candidates on my Election 2008 page.

The Democrats have more networking links than the Republicans, averaging 3.0 links per Democrat compared with 1.7 links per Republican. I only counted links to Facebook, Flickr, Meetup, MySpace, and YouTube. A couple of the Democrats also had PartyBuilder; I didn’t count those links. If I had, it would only increase this disparity.

For some unknown reasons, the Republicans also make it harder to find their networking links. Duncan Hunter, in an apparent effort to maintain a consistent color theme, camouflaged the networking links in the right column; I found them only after returning to the site for a second time. John McCain hid his networking links two menus down in a press release, and even then they are just text links. Ever the maverick, McCain also posts his videos on veoh.com and reference what appears to be his one and only answer on answers.yahoo.com.

It’s not just the second (or third) tier Republican candidates not trying to do the “networking thing.” Rudy Giuliani (I’ll learn to spell his name before this campaign is over) has exactly zero networking links.

Are networking links necessary? One could argue not. After all, the Internet didn’t propel Howard Dean into the victory circle. Yet, I think that argument is a few years out of date. There’s nothing better than getting buzz going in the voters at virtually no cost. (And there’s probably one thing they’d like to avoid: getting unfavorable posts written about them, like this one…)

So will the networking gap affect my vote? Of course not. My vote will come down to the issues, not whether a candidate is my friend on MySpace or whether I can see pictures of her dog on Flickr.

Religion in the 2008 Presidential Election

Religion is playing a large role in the 2008 presidential election. Recently:

  • Mainstream media has noticed that Mitt Romney is Mormon and is doing its best to alert everyone that Romney’s great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather had more than one wife. (By the way, it’s interesting to note that candidate Romney has had only one wife, while McCain has been married twice and Guiliani has been married three times.) Polygamy in Romney’s family tree is about as relevant as Barack Obama’s ancestors owning slaves. In fact, it’s less relevant because polygamy is just not that big an issue these days. White guilt over slave ownership is. Obama might be able to bring a different view to the issue.
  • Hillary Clinton and Obama preached in Selma. While the faked southern accents of both garnered respective (but not respectful) blogstorms, their presence in a church would not have been overlooked (crickets here) had they been Republicans. Or not, but that’s my perception. Please prove me wrong.
  • Obama’s membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ and his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. has attracted attention with its “liberation theology.”
  • John Edwards channeled Jesus this week. Okay, that’s a little strong. He attempted to answer for Jesus. His answer was actually pretty good–Jesus would be appalled at the selfishness in America in light of the incredible wealth of some individuals. But who am I to judge? The blogosphere handled that one as well.

My prediction? Expect to see the Democrats continue with more public displays or religion while Republicans distance themselves from the issue. Don’t be fooled either direction — watch to see how their proposals align with their (non)displays, their parties’ platforms, and your values.

Hillary vs. Rudy

Quite a few candidates have filed with the FEC, formed exploratory committees, or expressed serious interest in being the next president of the United States. Early polls show Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudy Giuliani leading their respective parties.

Of interest, both are commonly known by their first names. Is it a sign of these informal times? Or could Hillary be distancing herself from the Clinton name and the troubling memories of her husband? Is Rudy simply the easier name for those of us who seem to have problems spelling (or even pronouncing) “Giuliani”? Or, like Madonna, Cher, and Britney, have Hillary and Rudy as larger-than-life celebrities transcended the need for more than a single name?

I think all of these are at least partially correct. I also think it bodes well for the election that name recognition is a given and the voters can focus on more substantive issues. That is, assuming that Mike Gravel and Michael Smith don’t win in the primaries.