With 21 months to go before the next president is sworn in, the gloves are clearly off and the nasty politicking has begun. The new anti-Hillary video on YouTube, for example, has already attracted 1 million downloads. Allegedly created by Obama supporters, the Hillary spot is a riff on the classic 1984 Apple TV spot and shows an ‘athlete’ hurling a ball-and-chain at a large screen of Ms. Clinton and blowing it to smithereens.
So, which candidate’s image and reputation does the spot tarnish? Neither. I believe people have already made up their minds about Hillary and, like the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, one either loves her or hates her. As for Obama, he’s still too much of a blank slate. He needs to explain who he is and what he stands for rather than take pot shots at what Hillary is or isn’t.
The fascinating part of the process is the technology factor. YouTube and other such sites are empowering politically active citizens to creatively vent their views and opinions and reach mass audiences in ways never before possible. Howard Dean was the early, acklowedged master of blogging in 2004. It will be interesting to see which candidate masters the total CMG spectrum as we wind up to the November ’08 elections and whether Web 2.0 becomes a decisive factor in the actual voting.