The last time I blogged about Hillary I implied that her campaign might not have fully grasped how to use new media to promote her messages.
Now it looks like her team might have added some much-needed ammo to their Internet strategy with a new quick-response Web site aimed at batting down negative news stories about her. The New York Times reports:
Steve Schmidt, a former political strategist for President Bush who helped oversee his 2004 campaign war room, said the new Clinton site was “the next evolution in rapid response.”
The campaign of Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor running for the Republican presidential nomination, ventured into similar territory this year with a Web site that was started to affirm statements by Mr. Romney and rebut those of his rivals.
Phil Singer, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said her campaign felt the need to have such a Web site because much of the news about her tends to “spread like wildfire” online.
“There’s just been a proliferation of news reporting on the Internet,” Mr. Singer said. “As such, you’ve got a much faster echo effect when something hits the political zeitgeist, and it’s becoming increasingly urgent to have a mechanism in place that allows you to respond.”
Indeed after Drudge posted a silly rumor that Hillary stiffed an Iowa waitress from a tip, the story flew all around the blogosphere and MSM outlets unchecked.
I browsed Fact Hub for a while and found that it operates very much like a blog, with a mix of “inside scoop” information, elaboration of policy positions, and subtle attacks against her opponents. Fact Hub’s design differs substantially from the look and feel of Hillary’s main campaign site. Clearly it’s designed specifically for campaign journalists and political junkies who keep close tabs on the subtleties of the presidential race.
Will Fact Hub turn out to be the 2007/8 equivalent of Bill Clinton’s 1991/2 “War Room”?