The Campaign Spot

The Fred Rollout Continues… (UPDATE: How Team Fred Uses Tech)

Fred has a campaign blog, with promises of a lot more to come.

A Fan of Fred notices that the lefty blogs are all echoing the same criticisms (must have been some new marching orders from TownHouse about him) and points to this rejoinder from the guys at Hot Air:

As for the other points, his history as a lobbyist and his record as a trial lawyer, they’re less than meaningless. Particularly given that his most famous moments as a lawyer are (a) exposing corruption in Watergate, (b) exposing corruption in the Tennessee governor’s office, and (c) fighting corruption on “Law & Order.”

Since when do lefties run against guys who exposed Watergate?
UPDATE: Matt Lewis praises Thompsons’ tech stuff, while Dean Barnett scoffs a bit: “A blog? Is that one of those web log thingies I’ve heard so much about? Surely you jest. Wow! That’s sharper than cutting edge! That’s further out there than just outside the box!”
Okay, let me observe one example of how Team Fred might be a bit sharper than the average GOP campaign. Rapid response became a key element in Clinton’s war room in 1992; in 1996, the hyperactive Clinton campaign mastered the art of issuing “prebuttals” to Dole campaign events that were distributed before Dole made his inital comments. The Bush campaigns got better at this, but generally, the response would come slower, and significantly, often not in the same venue that the inital attack would come. A Kerry surrogate would levy a charge on CNN, and the Bush campaign would respond on Fox News. There was no guarantee that people who saw the initial criticism saw the response, since it ran later and on a different channel/venue/outlet/publication.
Recently Michael Moore issued his debate challenge to Fred Thompson on Drudge, and within a few hours, Thompson had his cinematic, cigar-chomping “mental institution, Michael… Something to think about” video response up on Breitbart (which Drudge linked to immediately). Thus just about anybody who knew Moore had thrown down the gauntlet knew Thompson had responded. Of course, the video was funny and interesting, and so this attracted a great deal of attention from television, print, other blogs, etc. Overall, it was a much better response than simply ignoring Moore, which I suspect would be the instinctive reaction of a lot of cautious campaign managers…
I recently attended what can best be described as a conservative blogger/techie cabal meeting, and someone observed that Howard Dean’s campaign sowed the seeds for two major political/activism consulting firms that focus entirely on leveraging new technology, EchoDitto and Blue State Digital. The speculation last night was that regardless of how Thompson does in the GOP primary, his campaign might have a similar effect – be the gathering point and launching point for a lot of creative, innovative message-maestros in GOP circles. (This isn’t to say other campaigns don’t also have smart people. It’s just that Team Fred might take a few more risks and have a few more pleasant surprises.)

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