FDR wasn’t the first president to use the wonder of radio for a political advantage, but that is how history remembers him. More and more, it seems likely that this year’s Democratic nominee will carve out that same historic possibility by using the Internet.
We’ve written a lot about that story here, but Ron Browstein has a must-read cover story in the National Journal, which offers a bunch of examples in vivid detail:
In scope and sweep, tactics and scale, the marathon struggle between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton has triggered such a vast evolutionary leap in the way candidates pursue the presidency that it is likely to be remembered as the first true 21st-century campaign.
On virtually every front, the two candidates’ efforts dwarf those of all previous primary contenders — not to mention presumptive GOP nominee John McCain. It’s easy to miss the magnitude of the change amid the ferocity of the Democratic competition. But largely because of their success at organizing supporters through the Internet, Clinton and, especially, Obama are reaching new heights in raising money, recruiting volunteers, hiring staff, buying television ads, contacting voters, and generating turnout. They are producing changes in degree from prior primary campaigns so large that they amount to changes in kind.