A transformative media moment…

March 18, 2008

The fact that the transcript to Barack Obama’s speech today was the #1 most emailed article on the New York Times is a really revealing detail to me. On the one hand, it is nice to take a step back and recognize how amazing it is that people actually care what their candidates have to say about big issues, period. The conventional campaign manager would have advised: “You’re going to lose ‘em.” Obama broke with precedent, and was rewarded with our attention.

On the other hand, to me it speaks volumes to the fact that people are sick and tired of engaging with their candidates through the gaudy, hyperactive lens of cable news. They want a more intimate connection, something that is as close to “unmediated” as possible – even if that is to some extent inherently contradictory. And for that reason, whatever you thought of the speech, his delivery, its potential to slingshot Obama to the nomination, this truly feels like a “transformative” moment – a breakthrough in the history of the modern presidential campaign.

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