Monday, October 10, 2011

The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

At least two of Hillary Clinton’s upper-echelon advisers, Mandy Grunwald and Mark Penn, were decidedly unimpressed .

“Our people look like caucus-goers,” Grunwald said, “and his people look like they are 18. Penn said they look like Facebook.”
-Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Des Moines, IA, November 10, 2007

Fast forward four years to today's headline: "How Obama's data-crunching prowess may get him re-elected."
Alone among the major candidates running for president, the Obama campaign not only has a Facebook page with 23 million "likes" (roughly 10 times the total of all the Republicans running), it has a Facebook app that is scooping up all kinds of juicy facts about his supporters.

Users of the Obama 2012 - Are You In? app are not only giving the campaign personal data like their name, gender, birthday, current city, religion and political views, they are sharing their list of friends and information those friends share, like their birthday, current city, religion and political views. As Facebook is now offering the geo-targeting of ads down to ZIP code, this kind of fine-grained information is invaluable.
Yeah, but he's still behind Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry in Twitter followers.

So Obama ranks 4th with 10.4 million followers. Mitt Romney? "4,931th" with 64,659. But the real question is, Which Mitt? A handy-dandy quiz on Romney's issue position where the correct answer is usually "all of the above."

Republican voters may not agree on those answers, or much of anything, but they can agree on one thing:
The one point on which they have been most consistent, however, is their resistance to the candidate who has been making his case the longest: former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

But it is these activists and voters like them who could eventually decide who gets the nomination. Do they coalesce around a single alternative, such as Perry, or do they continue to divide their support among all of the other hopefuls?

Or do they swallow their misgivings and begin to give Romney another look based on the argument that he is their best chance to beat President Obama in 2012?
Mitt Romney. Their best chance. Saturday Night Live got this one right this weekend: their vanilla Everyman, Jason Sudekis, played Romney OK, but gave him way too much charisma. Bobby Moynihan walked on as Chris Christie and owned the sketch; Moynihan may be the biggest loser in Christie's decision not to run. (And Tina Fey is very, very happy this week to retire THAT character... speaking of retirning characters, Kirsten, Shanna needs to join Gilly on the scrapheap.)

Whatever Republicans decide they'll be doing it sooner than ever. Ballot Access News: "In the years 1912 through 1972, no presidential primary was ever earlier than March."

Iowa City, of course, will vote twice before Caucus Night, unless New Hampshire grabs our November 8 city election date and we go on Halloween. (Scary costume suggestion: any GOP candidate). As for tomorrow's election, Michelle Payne is both the only woman and only registered Republican on the ballot, and she gets the big John Balmer endorsement.

And here's all the reasons not to pull out your ID tomorrow. There. I did it. I took a clip post and made a narrative out of it.

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