digital campaigning

Romney’s White Whale: Old Man’s IT and the Election That Got Away

Moby Dick

[Illustration from Moby Dick, c. 1925 edition]

ArsTechnica did a comparison between Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s campaigns’ information technology expenditures. They note a few key attributes that differentiate the Romney campaign’s use of IT:

  • Outsource anything that’s not a key competency, and spend as little as possible on it;
  • Reward “friends” with outsourcing contracts;
  • Spend on ad hoc items and pre-built SaaS* (buy from “friends” where possible).

Sure looks like the typical modus operandi of vulture capitalists that don’t invest but hit-and-run on the high seas, looking to harpoon anything of value in order to flay its carcass for cash. This says something both familiar and abhorrent about Mitt Romney and his supporters with regard to democracy.

But there are several other points that ArsTechnica missed in their assessment.

Generational shift — The difference in funds allocated and the way in which the IT monies were spent revealed a compelling truth: old guy Romney doesn’t value information technology the way younger guy Obama does. It’s a generational shift, from old school campaigns which still rely heavily on direct mail and broadcast media, to digital campaigns run by Gen-X and Millennials who are digital natives.

Based on past performance by vendors and team members alike, Obama’s team also trusts the technology team it assembled to do work quickly, effectively, on the fly. They trusted technology.

In contrast, Romney’s camp went with bigger brand name vendors like Best Buy (via service subsidiary) and SalesForce (for customer relationship management SaaS app). In mega-corporate they trust, apparently. Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @Greg651 Anytime. Like I said, it is a hassle, but not a horrid one. And once on list you get truly noticed like a party from ECF.
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bmaz @BernardKingIII @DavidSug Which is why I am all WTF?
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bmaz @BernardKingIII @DavidSug Assumption of risk etc all seem precluded by prior AZ precedent. Though all involve bites/attacks, etc.
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bmaz @Reillax @foolintheforest @djsziff I am hoping, but.....
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bmaz @foolintheforest @djsziff Dude, already had that quote in mind if an insurance carrier atty doesn't take over!
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bmaz @Reillax @foolintheforest @djsziff Yes, it is. But this is not under the "dog bite statute", but under ARS §11-1020 http://t.co/syYDOzwvZR
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bmaz @foolintheforest @djsziff ...a bite or an "attack" by the animal, not just presence and being tripped over.
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bmaz @foolintheforest @djsziff but where the fuck does that fit in with "strict animal liability" law, which almost universally contemplates...
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bmaz @djsziff @foolintheforest at least this is what I believe *so far*. But I trust this client pretty far.
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August 2015
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