Time Magazine's choice of Person of the Year appears more prescient than hackery now in view of how national campaigns can be affected by anonymou
March 19, 2007
Time Magazine's choice of Person of the Year appears more prescient than hackery now in view of how national campaigns can be affected by anonymous individuals with viral videos. Consider the footage of Rudy Giuliani speaking about his support for women's choice appearing on YouTube within hours of a speech he gave using strong anti-choice rhetoric.
And consider this ad for Barack Obama, which was not created in conjunction with his campaign, but looks as strong and as slick as any national campaign ad.
Adam Conner (who does work on an Obama netroots site), looks closer at the viral spread:
As Obama told Larry King tonight: "Well, the -- we knew nothing about it. I just saw it for the first time. And, you know, one of the things about the Internet is that people generate all kinds of stuff. In some ways, it's -- it's the democratization of the campaign process. But it's not something that we had anything to do with or were aware of and that frankly, given what it looks like, we don't have the technical capacity to create something like that. It's pretty extraordinary."
And what of the broad implications of this phenomenon? I actually think that Joe Klein hits it on the head when he said:

This is pretty amazing, and very effective, I think. It's increasingly apparent that the Great Divide in 2008 isn't black v. white, or male v. female, but young v. old.

[. . .]

I wouldn't have the skills or sensibility to do it this way; very few in my generation would. I disagreed--quietly, in a loyal and seemly fashion--with Time's Person of the Year last December. But ads like this one, which will have an impact on this campaign, indicate that I was wrong. You are, apparently, not only the Person of the Year, but also the Political Consultants of the future.

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