It’s not news to anyone that the new media will play a major role in the 2008 Presidential election. YouTube will be a big part of that. On the Republican side, all of the major contenders have set up YouTube sites where you can watch them in action. Rudy Giuliani’s site is here; Mitt Romney’s is here, and John McCain’s is here.
From the candidates’ standpoint, the great virtue of the new media in general, and YouTube in particular, is that they can communicate directly with voters without the mediation of mainstream journalists, who spin everything they cover. When you watch the candidates’ videos, you are reminded of how effective all three of them are on the stump. Everyone talks about the fact that many conservatives have reservations about all three of the leading candidates, for various reasons. But let’s not lose sight of one very positive fact: all three of these candidates are excellent speakers and superb communicators. We Republicans haven’t had a serious Presidential contender as good on the stump as these three in a long time–and, no, I don’t mean since Ronald Reagan. Reagan was great at set pieces, but nowhere near as effective as Giuliani, Romney and McCain in less formal exchanges. So as the campaign continues, we will find a lot to like on the candidates’ YouTube sites. One I would particularly recommend at the moment is Giuliani’s featured clip on the Democrats’ non-binding resolutions on Iraq. It’s brilliant.
Just one thing I don’t understand: all of the candidates have set up their videos in the same format, which does not offer an embed code and thus does not permit viral distribution. I don’t understand why not, since the candidates presumably want their videos to be seen as widely as possible. Maybe I’m missing something here, and if so, the campaigns will no doubt explain.
UPDATE: We get results. Patrick Ruffini says on behalf of the Giuliani campaign that they will soon be offering embed codes for all their videos.
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