1/23/2010 12:38 PM
I actually woke up early on a Saturday morning, the one sacrosanct day of rest for Will Lutz. I was invited by political consultant Dave Carney to Gov. Rick Perry’s blogger summit.
For several years, conservatives have been behind the eight-ball on advocacy on the Internet. While it’s not official, the Burnt Orange Report is – for all intents and purposes – an adjunct of the Democratic coordinated campaign. Several of the bloggers found therein are staffers for Democratic campaigns or entities.
Four years ago, Republicans did not understand the power of blogging or social media. Change is slow but it’s now changing.
Perry understands this. One of the biggest changes between the 2006 and 2010 campaigns for governor is the way Perry has embraced the Internet and social media in 2010. It is a major part of the Perry campaign in 2010, and it wasn’t in 2006.
Most of the major Perry staffers are on Facebook and twitter. The campaign actively uses Facebook and twitter to promote Perry’s endorsements and major announcements. Perry actively used YouTube.com and set up a separate Web site, www.WashingtonKay.com
, to attack his opponent and spread his message. YouTube ads are as or more frequent than TV and radio ads. Individual Perry supporters are invited to set up their own Rick Perry for Governor webpages.
Kay Hutchison has realized this is important too, but she’s largely played catch up here. She does have a website www.SlickRickPerry.com
to slam the governor, but by and large, it’s been reactive when the Perry campaign has been proactive.
It’s fascinating to watch how – in one election cycle – how the mechanics of campaigning has changed.
The way U.S. Sen.-elect Scott Brown’s (R-MA) supporters used the Internet to spread the message and raise money is a major development in conservative use of the Internet in campaigns and was a major topic of discussion today. Another significant development was the way Ron Paul’s supporters used the Internet in 2008 and has led to bigger and better things, including the Tea Party Movement.
There are differences between the conservative and liberal blogosphere. Yes, it’s true, the left in Texas has set up a blog that is an adjunct of the Democratic campaign apparatus. Whereas, most conservative blogs are set up and run by free-thinking individuals who want to reduce the size and scope of government. A significant number of growing conservative blogs are not connected with any politician.
That said, Republicans are beginning to play catch-up in this medium, and Perry’s blogger forum is another example of that trend.
3 comment(s) so far...
By Mike Chapman on
1/23/2010 9:53 PM
Governor Perry actually had a blog four years ago and it that had a large number of comments for each post. The Perry Alliance was an active online community long before the current emphasis on social media and social networking by political campaigns. The Governor is an early adopter of social media among politicians so it isn't surprising that he has a Twitter account that he personally updates and therefore is very robust. In contrast, the Hutchison and White campaigns seem to just be discovering some of the same online tools that Mr. Perry has been using for years now.
By William Lutz on
1/23/2010 10:01 PM
That's a fair point. Perhaps the governor is being more public now about his use of social media. It's been a long time since 2006, so maybe my memory was rusty (I was writing from a table at the forum.) As I remember there were parts of the Perry alliance website that were password-protected, so I may not have been as aware of the governor's efforts back then. Whereas, now Perry's use of social media is so visible that it's hard to ignore.My point in writing the blog post was not to criticize what happened in 2006, but rather to note how dramatically campaigning has changed in the last four years. I also think that -- nationally -- the left had the advantage in 2006 and 2008 (Howard Dean, Barack Obama, for example), but that factor is changing rapidly. It appears to me that the Perry 2010 campaign is making the Internet a much more integral part of the campaign than a lot of other campaigns, both here in Texas and Nationwide.
By Mike Chapman on
1/24/2010 2:59 PM
I totally agree that there is much more urgency among all politicians to connect with potential voters using online communications, especially social media and social networking. Thank you for covering the blogger summit and I look forward to reading future posts. Have a great day.