McCain tracks Obama’s every move, online
Issued on: Modified:
People who criticise McCain for his "older than the Golden Gate" status will be silenced by the senator's newly acquired high-tech internet skills, says his campaign team. On Tuesday, the 71-year-old uploaded a tool allowing him to survey Barack Obama's website and point out any single modification that his competitor made to certain parts of his manifesto. Read more...
People who criticise McCain for his "older than the Golden Gate" status will be silenced by the senator's newly acquired high-tech internet skills, says his campaign team. On Tuesday, the 71-year-old uploaded a tool allowing him to survey Barack Obama's website and point out any single modification that his competitor made to certain parts of his manifesto.
The tool immediately highlighted any alteration made to the Iraq pages on the official Obama website. The tiniest change - even a deleted comma - would be automatically coloured either red (deletion) or green (addition), by the system. McCain was hoping to draw attention to Obama's change of heart on the Iraq issue. While the Democratic nominee has always assured voters that he would immediately withdraw from the country, he recently decided against the idea. McCain was also hoping to use the tool to push on with his endeavour to publicly undermine Obama's foreign policy plans. Is this something we should get used to? Will Sarko's site be tapped next time an election comes round in France?
Update: Not so media savvy after all! If you try McCain's Obama-tracking site today, the alterations no longer appear. Is Obama's team even more on the ball?
McCain's latest campaign video: "where does Obama stand on Iraq?"
Posted by the McCain campaign team 17 July on YouTube.
"They want to break the myth of 'change'"
Stanislas Magniant is a communications consultant. In 2004 he cofounded a French website called Netpolitique.
This scheming is nothing new. You can buy this tool for 30 dollars on the net. The difference here is that McCain's team used it to monitor a public site. He said to web users, "come here and see how Obama changes his texts". It's in the style of the Republican campaign at the moment. They're trying to show that their contender often changes his standpoint and is therefore no different than any other politician. They want to break the myth of ‘change we can believe in'.
The republicans are using Iraq in particular to attack Obama. They accuse him of changing his tune since he said he started thinking about revaluating his stance on Iraq once elected [he originally promised an immediate withdrawal].
In politics, it's the nature of each camp to tear apart their opponent piece by piece. Every single slipup is noted. However, it's less and less likely that a big error will be made on the candidates' websites, because all the texts that go online are carefully checked and rechecked. The candidates know that their pages are vulnerable to interrogation, and so are meticulous in detail.
The technique that McCain used to track Obama reminds me of an anecdote from the presidential campaign in France. During a televised debate between Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal, the socialist candidate embarrassed Sarko for an imprecision he made about nuclear power. When Sarkozy talked about a fourth generation of reactors, Royal was quick to remind him that it was in fact the third generation. Even before the end of the debate, a web user had altered the Wikipedia page to follow the line of the now president so that he wouldn't look incorrect. The affair caused a barrage of comments and a heated debate on the page."