Tuesday, April 29, 2008

C'mon, Bubba. You're better than this.

NBC's Chuck Todd details how Bill Clinton completely underestimated the 21st century media. I know Clinton hasn't run a campaign since 1996, but he should be well aware of the internet's influence on the political scene. Lest he forget, it was was an internet "gadfly," Matt Drudge, which broke the Lewinsky scandal in 1998.

Todd outlines a series of events in the 2008 campaign that Bill could have easily avoided if he had an understanding of the new media. The one most striking to me is when Bill brought up Hillary's sniper fire comment weeks after it had mostly died in the media. This "YouTube moment" shows a critical feature of 21st century media: The news cycle has shortened considerably. At the point of Bill's speech in Indiana, Hillary had made an appropriate response and the media was already talking about "bitter" and Carter meeting with Hamas. Hillary's trip to Bosnia was still in the mind of voters, but it was fading with the lessened media coverage. (Bill also didn't help the cause by numerous factual errors in the speech). When the news cycle has passed. let sleeping dogs lie.

C'mon, Bubba. You led this country through its largest economic growth since WWII and you are the best public speaker this country has seen in decades. Please, learn from your mistakes and don't let yourself be dragged down by the same medium that tried to take you down in 98.

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