Full disclosure: I helped start the Obama blog, but once the campaign took operations inhouse they didn’t need my help. I’d like to see the Obama team do more with the Internet; they’re sitting on a gold mine. But as a practical matter, they don’t need to. Not now. So while the zealot in me wants to see them exploit every advantage (and, for that matter, take a few risks in a race where they can afford to), I can understand the rationale that says you keep a few bullets in the gun for later.
That said, it’s no better if you look more broadly. The Democratic leadership in Illinois are woefully behind when it comes to using technology. That’s not going to hurt us now. Technology alone will not make Alan Keyes a sane, rational, viable candidate. (Technology, coupled with advanced neurological techniques and a healthy dose of medication… now that would be an Alan Keyes I could listen to.)
Nevertheless, the Democrats in Illinois are woefully behind. What’s worse, they don’t recognize how it is going to hurt. Trust me. (I had lunch with a highly-placed Democratic leader last week, laid out what I think will be critical for Democrats moving forward. Not interested.) Speaker of the House? Governor? Senator? Chicago Mayor? They’ve all got tons of money. But their inability to capitalize on the technology that’s democratizing politics will leave them with fat bank accounts and little (or no) connection to the grassroots.
When a state rep from Plainfield (thanks for the correction, guys) can amass an e-mail list of 100,000 names (more than four times the size of the Governor’s list, by the by), that should tell you something. And if we’re not careful, we’ll see Dean’s lessons implemented to help a Republican insurgent here in Illinois.