“You” politics arrives?

New York Times reports that John Edwards will announce his candidacy on Thursday. It reports: “Mr. Edwards, who is arguably the most Web-savvy candidate in the ’08 race to date, is using Thursday’s event to try to gin up his supporters via the Internet.”

Some of you have been guessing that is where I’m headed. I can’t confirm or deny that yet but let’s just say I’ve been looking into how all the candidates, Republican, Libertarians, and Democrats, have been using the Internet to fire up supporters. At this stage they mostly need money — some reports are saying a decently-run campaign this year will take more than $50 million. For comparison, Edwards, last time around, raised about $17 million and he’s been beaten lately by Barack Obama (link to Wikipedia) who gives more exciting speeches, drawing large crowds who get excited enough to donate money.

Joe Trippi (link to Wikipedia), who last time around collected a record amount for the Howard Dean campaign (Joe understood blogging, social media, and Internet communities a lot better than Howard Dean did) wrote an interesting post over on MyDD today: Transformational Politics, where he writes “More than ideology, or any other factor — true transformational leadership can only come from a candidate who fundmentally gets that it isn’t about him/her — its about us.”

Already look at how people are posting information about the candidates to Wikipedia. No more “control the message” here. The only way to control this beast is to lay it all out there and make yourself, and your views, open to everyone.

I find this all very interesting, no matter where on the political spectrum you are. It used to be the only place to get political information was to look at the propoganda done by the major parties, or by reading the voter pamphlet, or by reading the occassional editorial or news report in either your local newspaper or in a paper like the Washington Post or New York Times, or by attending a rally and listening to a speech (where you usually got emotionally riled up, but didn’t actually learn all that much — I attended such speeches by Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale, my photo of Ronald Reagan is still hanging in the Silicon Valley Republican Headquarters).

How did I find that New York Times article above? I went to Google News and had an alert set on John Edwards.

I’ll bet that within a few hours that’ll be linked into the Wikipedia page on John Edwards.

What, you don’t like John Edwards? Well, every candidate has a similar Wikipedia page.

They are all linked off of this Wikipedia page: 2008 Presidential Election (great page, with lots of links)
Who’s in charge of this election? You are. Any one of us can post a video that’ll change the outcome of this election. That video will get found thanks to the much more efficient word-of-mouth network that is social media.

Will your videos change this election? Damn straight they will. Here’s a search on YouTube for “John Edwards.” — I see lots of amateur videos. I’m certain many more will come.

Anyway, I have a feeling that Ernie the Attorney and I are gonna be drinking beer in some fine New Orleans establishment in about 24 hours talking with all of you. :-)

Of course you’re coming along. I’ll even send you some beads. :-)

Think of how to get political candidates to talk with you and answer the kinds of things you care about.

I have a feeling we should just setup a wiki.