Andrew Sullivan: Barack Obama is master of the new Facebook politics

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It’s a new form of politics; it is likely to last beyond the Obama campaign and to change the shape of all campaigns to come. For Obama the new method was also bang on message. His liberalism is not a top-down, managerial variety; it’s more in line with progressive traditions of self-empowerment. A social network was the perfect medium.

I have seen this for myself. This spring, many friends who had never previously been interested in politics suddenly told me about their Obama fundraisers. I was stunned by their activism. No one had asked them. They were arranging the parties or performances or gatherings through Facebook and MySpace, without any formal leadership from Obama headquarters.

Just as Obama’s most famous web videos were never commissioned by the candidate – they were created and disseminated spontaneously online – so his fundraising began to take on a life of its own. The only other candidate who managed to inspire such energy was the maverick Republican Ron Paul. His message was not unlike Obama’s: self-empowered, antiestablishment, next-generation.

There is no question in my mind that this is the future of political organisation and fundraising.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet* Economics, PoliticsUS Presidential Election 2008

Posted May 26, 2008 at 11:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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