December 13th, 2008
07:43 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP warned to embrace technology or face 'suicide'

Ken Blackwell and other candidates for the GOP chairmanship have used Facebook to reach supporters.
Ken Blackwell and other candidates for the GOP chairmanship have used Facebook to reach supporters.

(CNN) - When Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis decided to throw his hat in the ring to head the Republican Party, he announced his intentions on an unlikely forum: Twitter.

Not too long ago, the social networking Web site most popular among teenagers and 20-somethings was probably the last place you would expect to find a candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship.

But then Barack Obama's presidential campaign appeared to revolutionize the way technology could be integrated into every facet of a campaign - from fundraising to media outreach to voter mobilization.

The result was a Democratic Party that outpaced its rival in nearly every measure - in the process revealing how detrimental the GOP's apparent lack of tech fluency proved to be on Election Day.

The Republican Party is playing catch-up, hoping to compete with Democrats in the next two pivotal election cycles.

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soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Joyce

    Taking a page of Obama's political campaign strategy. No originality this GOP lot.

    December 12, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Eric

    It is not technology that RNC need to embrace....
    RNC needs to develop ideas that bring people can embrace (not just the religious right) and come together.

    December 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. Joe in MN

    Lack in technology, method, representation of the nations diversity...

    December 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. Mike

    It's not the technology, it's the message. The republicans think that the same old message repackaged will work. It won't. Silly old ideas won't look any better in the new technology. They would do better to get rid of the old (and I mean) old white male network of the South. An example, Rush look even sillier on the internet.

    December 12, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. TonyQ

    Good luck getting their old, white, uneducated constituency to use technology.

    December 12, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. The Sultan of Spinach

    The most patriotic action the Republican Party could possibly take would be to disband. That group of miscreants, malcreants, blackguards, knaves, lowlifes, rascals, rogues, and scoundrels have done everything possible to bankrupt the nation and end our democracy. They have bamboozled their trusting voters time and time again, promising things that that did not ever plan to deliver for a moment. They will deserve a large chapter in the history of skullduggery whenever it is written.

    We need two Liberal parties, competing to come up with the best solutions to the nation's problems. What we have now is one party that tries to solve problems and another party that tries to prevent the first party from getting anything done. And they are still at it.

    December 12, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. james in s.c.

    the ultra- right winger won't allow that...because they'll say it's un-bibical. GOP are done, stick a fork in them. they've hurt our country enough, and last night proved it enough for me about the BIG 3 auto loan to keep workers working for at least 2 or 3 months. GOP are plainly anti-american, anti-union, anti-worker, but pro-CEO's, and self intrest groups.

    December 12, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. Wayne in CA

    all the technology in the universe can't change the fundamentally flawed GOP ideology...but it's typical that they think some sort of gimmick is all they need..

    December 12, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. frank Honolulu HI

    That's not the only thing (technology) they forgot . How about diversity, honesty and fair play? They forgot to address main street and the environment. Republicans are out of touch.

    December 12, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. Mari

    How FUNNY is this!! Technology? I don't care IF the GOP becomes the embodiment of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs! The GOP WILL KEEP failing as long as they continue their bullying!

    Republicans MUST change from their lies, hate, fear and division mongering!

    Republicans need to separate themselves from hate-and-lies mongers like: Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Reagan, OReilly and others.

    Republicans need a message that will resonate with Americans, NOT just more of the same VILE politics!

    Republicans....... DO NOT GET IT..... and will continue to bully, lies, cause fear and division in our Nation.

    The GOP stands for ALL that I despise.

    December 12, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. James

    Now if we can get them to learn how to read and write we will be all set. They need a nice long history lesson just as bad as anything else. Totally agree Paul, if that party gets elected again in the near future we can watch any progress made these next years go right back down the tube, send us back to the stoneage like they do with the race issue over and over again. Need a serious reorganization of people and thoughts, if not, i could never vote for those clowns. Whats amazing is how simple minded people are to think 2 years of Dem control in congress somehow cancels out any Republican responsibility from then on...as i sit here and watch people claim that they are the "responsible" party, cant be further from the truth. They really need to do some soul searching, poor lost souls. Forget technology, thats the last thing i think about when i hear them open their mouth. Cant expect their kids to be any brighter, thats the real unfortunate part, teaching their kids that they can use every excuse in the book just like their favorite president. No responsibility....zero accountability....yeah they got a long way to go.

    December 12, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    The GOP can be all "a twitter" but technology is useless unless you have something to say.

    As long as your 9 primary candidates look like a group of old white men waiting for tee-time at a restricted country club, there is no message.

    The Senators who voted to let the auto industry fail and the workers be d--med ... no matter what GOP promises at election time, people will remember: 700 Billion for Wall Street – nothing for Main Street.

    Technology won't replace a real core message and the GOP is as foolish as ever to think so.

    December 12, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. Steve

    Heeeyyyyyy! Wait a minute! Didn't McCain invent Blackberry?

    There is no doubt that the Obama team's deft use of technology caused problems for the Republicans AND for Hillary's campaign. Use of technology not only allowed the team to get information to potential voters by the millions, with a push of a few buttons, but it also allowed them to communicate with field offices in an organized and comprehensive way that dumbfounded the old school campaigns. Obama's team was already reacting to some situations before McCain's team even knew they were happening. Same thing with Hillary's team.

    This is not just Repubican v. Democrat. It's Old School Politics v. New School Politics. Any party that wants to reach out to millions of young voters had better get up close and personal with technological best practices, or they will continue to get stomped in elections. Any campaign that wants to be responsive to a constantly changing political environment instead of 8-ball reactive had better use the latest and greatest technology, and use it well.

    The Republicans are generally a party of middle-aged conservatives. Unless they can reach out to younger conservatives who grew up with the technologies at hand, and get them on the team, they will be left in the dust on pretty much any campaign they care to attempt.

    December 12, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. brad

    more than just technology it is more so the ideas.

    December 12, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. Servius

    Stop the Socialist Democrats from destroying this country more!!

    December 12, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  16. Yeah Right

    Doh!

    December 12, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  17. Tiaunia - Dallas

    Honestly I don't believe most Dem's care to embrace any internet dialogue from the GOP unless they decide to come with integrity, honesty and most importantly eliminate the undertone of racism in their approach to the American people...hmmmm

    December 12, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. Mark

    The trouble with this is that the GOP is made up of "old, white guys" who are not exactly on the cutting edge of technology. Another problem is that technology is only a tool for taking the message out. Republicans have no message; at least not one that is relevant.

    December 12, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. KJ

    Ken Blackwell is a goof, who helped steal the election with fraud in 2004 in Ohio. Just the person to run the Republican party. A real right wing nut.

    December 12, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. Amber

    So basically the GOP got PWN'ed, and their election efforts this year were an EPIC FAIL?

    December 12, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. Patty

    Barack Obama's presidential campaign appeared to revolutionize the way technology could be integrated into every facet of a campaign — from fundraising to media outreach to voter mobilization.
    ____________________________
    Technology wil NEVER replace truth! Obama's "selection" is but a BLIP in the scheme of things - and revolutionizes NOTHING!

    What America is all about - equal opportunity for those who want to pursue it - personal liberty despite media spin - work hard and succced - NO welfare state for those who won't work because they're "entitled" not to have to - victim mentality that doesn't cut it in today's "equal opportunity" world –THAT is what America is all about - and THAT is what America will again be one day - once the hysteria dies down. Just can't wait - but it WILL happen!!!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. Mike

    Yea, Blogocrap (D) and all those Chicago cronies (all Ds) really learned to master the tech lessons, didn't they. And remember the top 10 poverty stricken cities in the US (look it up) have only been run by the D's for decades. Man they must be smart.

    December 12, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  23. barbara

    chris from stl (above) is right. the very nature of the GOP is to not change. anything. ever.

    December 12, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. Patty

    Steve December 12th, 2008 7:33 pm ET
    The Republicans are generally a party of middle-aged conservatives.
    _____________________

    REALLY? Prove it , Steve - otherwise, hush, child!!!!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. Eyes wide open

    Too late. The GOP already committed suicide with too many self-inflicted gun shot wounds. How will they ever rebuild?

    December 12, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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