Copying Obama, McCain Launches Online Phone Bank
As most people have heard, the Obama campaign revolutionized field organizing, especially through Internet outreach and social networks.
Now the McCain camp is trying to get in on the action.
Some of Obama’s primary successes look obvious in retrospect. He empowered volunteers to download call scripts and phone lists, for example, to contact voters in primary states where his field staff was thin.
The McCain campaign discovered people power.
It sounds basic, but traditional campaigns don’t like to release phone numbers for unsupervised calling. Not based on experience, mind you — since most avoid it altogether — but out of fear, or top-down habits, or inertia.
Obama’s operation showed that it worked fine, sabatoge was rare and Clinton was copying the tactic by the end of the primary.
Now it’s McCain’s turn.
A new McCain campaign email, written by a deputy campaign manager, flashes the tactics of Obama and the people-powered language of Howard Dean in a pitch for their new “online phone bank”:
While any effective tactic will spread in politics, from online fund-raising to twittering rapid response, what’s striking here is the inclusive, people-powered language. McCain has been trying to wrest “change” from Obama, but who knew he was gunning for “community organizer,” too?