November 20th, 2008
08:02 AM ET

GOP needs to catch up to Obama's Web savvy

Editor’s Note: Leslie Sanchez is a former adviser to President Bush and CEO of Impacto Group, which specializes in market research about women and Hispanics for its corporate and nonprofit clients.

Leslie Sanchez | Bio
CNN Political Contributor
Republican Strategist

Ever since John McCain and Howard Dean in 2000 showed the Internet's potential for fundraising, the question was always whether the Web could be effective at "GOTV," or getting-out-the-vote.

Among young voters at least, Barack Obama has proven that it can - and, in the process, he's uncovered a major flaw that cuts to the core of the Republicans' approach to party organization and discipline.

Obama poured many of his campaign's millions into his social networking operations on the Web, which his campaign rightly saw as critical to building grassroots support and enthusiasm.

A community organizer by training, occupation and nature, Obama saw his databases for the potential they represented - an army of supportive voices, a legion of potential volunteers, and a division of precinct captains.

Such is the world not just of Chicago ward organizations, but of politics everywhere.

The McCain campaign, reflecting the broader skepticism I've seen in the GOP about the Web, doubted whether the Internet could get voters out of their Barcaloungers (or, in the case of younger voters, off their futons) and into the polling booth.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Internet • John McCain • Leslie Sanchez • Raw Politics
April 7th, 2008
06:31 PM ET

Hard topics in the Arab world find the Internet

An Egyptian man with AIDS finds his voice on the internet website YouTube.

In a carefully crafted eight-minute clip, he highlights the stigma surrounding living with AIDS in the Arab world.

"I haven't seen my family in 5 years. I left them when I felt that their life will be easier without me. You know how rude neighbors and friends can be? I got tired so I left."

He then describes his family’s rejection: "my sister once said, 'leave us alone I don't want my kids to be... queer like you.' The words hurt me. Queer means abnormal, scandalous, and disgraceful."

With some 40,000 views on YouTube, the posting is inspiring debate. The kind that is generally missing in the Arab world. 


Filed under: Internet • Octavia Nasr
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