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 @IWPCHI @mock_kevin This lays it out pretty honestly from what I know https://t.co/hR9lmHTVRR But it was just an analogy to start with
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JimWhiteGNV RT @_FloridaMan: Florida Man Apologizes For Repeating Himself Too Much; Immediately Repeats Himself https://t.co/7tDSGkolVF
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JimWhiteGNV RT @banditref: Dear Vols, Saying "college athletics have always been dirty" isn't an excuse for or reason not to treat sexual assault seri…
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bmaz @mock_kevin @IWPCHI Yeah, exactly. All within about a three year span in a critical period. Not meant to be perfectly equivalent.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @shannynmoore: Does anyone know if #Carly Fiorina is selling off the parts of her aborted campaign? #AskingForAFriend #GOP2016
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bmaz @IWPCHI @mock_kevin In fact, she made a special trip to see him during his last hospital stay before his death.
27mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @IWPCHI @mock_kevin Uh, no it is not. She was still an active "young Republican" in college. And she was friends w/Goldwater until his death
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bmaz @MentalRiot You don't know me for squat. And speaking of "angry", take a look in the mirror right now. Run along.
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emptywheel RT @rachaelmbade: Trump 0n HRC $600K Wall Street speech: Actually I have been paid much more than that, but I don’t represent the governmen…
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bmaz @MentalRiot She is a fucking warmonger nightmare. But thanks for your little bullshit "history lesson".
39mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MentalRiot Hahahahaha, yeah, golly thanks.
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emptywheel Wonder how long it would take to get someone to do a movie based on that Ferguson complaint.
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