Writings and observations

Strange that the wonders of the Internet have been so lightly tapped, so far, for sending political messages. Anyone with some imagination, some desktop video production skill (granted, it helps to be under voting age in this category) and a net connection can, with a little effort, produce an on-line message that can be circulated far and wide. All those joke and video spots you get in email from friends? Why aren’t politicians using the same approach for their campaigns? It would cost them next to nothing.

The key ingredient is the water-cooler quality of the thing, the spiciness that makes you want to share with friends. Most political spots are too boring and predictable for that. But every so often, someone rediscovers the potential.

One of the best such of this cycle is a new video spot by Idaho 1st House District candidate Keith Johnson, posted on his web site, and probably to be redistributed broadly. In common with most good net video features, it is simple and targeted. Against a black background, and over a bed of light bluegrass music, you see this message:

“I am Keith Johnson and I am running for Congress. I have never . . . relied on out of state donors to bankroll my campaign . . . shut down the legislature for a publicity stunt . . . attended a liberal Democratic fundraiser in New York City. My opponents have. Enough said.”

Bang. It will get Johnson talked about, which is what his campaign needs at the moment.

Meanwhile, the targets of his jabs have an opportunity to consider their replies . . .

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Idaho