Teddy Roosevelt was the first national candidate to master the use of newspapers. Mass circulation papers were new at the time.
Kennedy was the first national candidate to thrive on television.
Howard Dean is the first national candidate to build his candidacy using the internet, as cited by the Washington post.
The party mainstream doesn’t get the point yet.
The Washington post article cites skeptics who “argue that a strategy relying on scores of largely unknown, undirected Internet supporters cannot work in a television-driven era that favors well-funded candidates.”
The Democratic party mainstream sees the internet as direct marketing medium (think spam) that raises funds for mass marketing.
“Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe said the DNC’s e-mail list has grown from 70,000 to 1.4 million in a few years and will be a major focus of donor development. In a single appeal last week, the DNC raised $100,000 online in a day. In addition, the DNC is testing an “e-patriot” program, aimed at mobilizing activists, and will launch it to more than a million online Democrats this week.”
The Dean campaign thinks of it differently. We have the largest grass-roots organization in America right now, and we are going to try to utilize it,” said Dean’s campaign manager, Joe Trippi. “If television took the grass roots out of politics, the Internet will put it back in.