February 19th, 2009
06:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Meghan McCain tells GOP to get tech savvy

 Meghan McCain says its time the GOP embraces technology.

Meghan McCain says its time the GOP embraces technology.

(CNN) - The Republican Party needs to change - at least when it comes to its use of technology, Meghan McCain says.

In a column on the Daily Beast Web site, the daughter of Sen. John McCain says the GOP is likely to continue its decline in power unless members vastly improve their tech fluency.

"This has been a source of personal frustration for me for a very long time," said McCain of the party's seeming disconnect with technology. "Unless the GOP evolves as the party that can successfully utilize the Web, we'll continue to lose influence"

McCain, who authored a popular blog on her father's Web site while he was running for president, also recounts early pushback from Republican strategists when she first sought to establish the Web site.

"Many of the established Republican strategists told me that young people would not visit my web site," she wrote. "I used to categorize many of the advisors in my father's campaign into one of two groups: those that 'respected' the Internet and those who didn't. It was a running line between me and my friends who worked on my site."

McCain also suggested the party's lack of online savvy greatly contributed to her father's defeat last November.

"The Obama administration understands that my generation spends most of its day on a laptop or a BlackBerry, and that using the Web is easy way to communicate their ideas to their constituents," she said. "Until the Republican Party joins the twenty-first century and learns how to use the Internet, its members will keep getting older and the youth of America will just keep logging on to the other side."

Several Republicans appear to have gotten the message. According to TweetCongress.org, more Republicans are now on the popular social networking site Twitter than are Democrats. And the recent election for the Republican Party Chairman heavily revolved around who was best positioned to modernize the party's use of technology.

Filed under: Extra • Meghan McCain
soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. Uncle Fester

    The GOP needs to get savvy about a lot more than just the internet

    February 19, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. Jason FL

    You think that by becoming tech savvy, Republicans are going to get my vote? That's the least of the Republican Party's worries. Instead of becoming tech savvy, I think the Republican Party needs to step out of its shell of hypocrisy. In addition, it really needs to represent America as a whole (instead of just the South), rebuke the hijacking by the religious right, and drop its "good old boy" attitude.

    February 19, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    It isn't the technology, message content is what matters.

    February 19, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Winston Smith

    Yeah...that's sounds real fun...the GOP texting us as to how much we should all be HATING our neighbors.
    They're selling that "Ownership Society" nonsense...translated: OWN-YOUR-OWN SOCIETY.
    Sure...the GOP supports WARS and things that glow in the dark but, as far as really supporting this country...they are NOT so supportive.
    They NEVER have been.
    It's not in their nature or ideology.
    That's anti-your-neighbor..yet jingoistic as hell...stuff they're always tossing out here in cyberspace is a difficult message to SELL to enough people in this country to win a Presidency from now on.

    February 19, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. andrea

    SORRY. I think the Republicans need a lot more than Twitter.

    February 19, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. Rorschach

    Shame Meghan wasn't old enough to run for VP. She's a lot sharper than Winky Palin, you betcha.

    February 19, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. John

    Why doesn't the GOP get people savvy instead of just catering to the rich?

    February 19, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. stillsupportspresident

    Yep. It was not having a strong facebook presence or text messaging that did them in. Not years of racial politics, raising quacks like Limbaugh on a throne, having a virtual lack of diversity at their campaign rallies, creating an us versus them divide in America, irresponsible last 8 years, and hypocritical policies. None of that is the problem, only that they need more technology. Well now that that will be cleared up, I am sure all of the minorities, women, gays, hispanics, youth and college educated voters who voted for Obama will switch over in 2012. Republicans should make a clean sweep. Be sure to use the NY Post cartoon on the home page of the new tech savvy website too. That will definitely sway black voters the Republican way. Don't forget to mention that the guy Steele has really captivated all Democrats' hearts. We don't even need a DNC anymore. RNC....the way to go!


    Grow up and accept that Obama WON fair and square. He followed your rules, played your game and WON. Get over it. Move on. Try something else, like caring about the American people instead of trying to step on everyone.

    February 19, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  9. Benjamin

    Megan is right, the Democrats used all the available technology to help win the election. but remember this technology was on a vehicle to carry a sensible message to the people. Obama won because he had an efficient, organized agenda that America could relate to. Republicans have used the old ' wave the flag', support the police, in the past and it worked. They realized this rhetoric has become archaic and opted for 'throwing dirt', but failed to provide a plan for the future. One important issue they will have to stop promoting is, posturing themselves as being anti-black. A failure to reign in the media bigots who proudly express their racial hatred as loyal conservative republicans, will certainly mean doom in future elections. Having an African American GOP chairman is a step in the right direction to lure voters back, but this token gesture must build into authentic relationships with the general public to be successful.

    February 19, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Calvin

    Meghan, time to jump ship...
    Beam Me Up Scotty these Republicans are so not what's up...

    February 19, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. gabe

    SHE NEEDS TO tell him to get a grip on the drug cartels hold on the state of arizona. while he's trying to undermine our president . you losers

    February 19, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  12. SoCalBrotha

    I have news for her, the reason the Republicans are losing out has a lot more to do with their policies than their internet savvy. The Republican Party is disconnected from "the real America", isn't that right Sarah Palin.

    February 19, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  13. Chris W, Tampa

    What with people incessantly reading and engaging in open communication, the internet encourages the truth. This is something the Republican party has a hard time with.

    February 19, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  14. Tampa Doug

    What Mehgan & Steele and the GOP in general don't realize is that the Internet is a medium. What the GOP lacks is a message. I don't care how tech-savy they become, until they expand the message to include issues relevant to the groups they want to target, they will be rejected.

    Right now the core message of the GOP is low taxes for the rich – no gov't services for the poor. And they think they are gong to sign up minorities & the young with that?

    February 19, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Alex

    Conservative people are typically closed, they don't really care what happens outside US, only care about their country. (World Wide Web).. a global info source. Why liberals, and why all the nerds and geeks are liberal...tech savvy..because they have a global view... they wanna see positive results not just in US but globally...liberals dream about space..etc...etc..they wanna reach things that are unknown..and conservatives have some fear...may be it has to do with how they were raised.

    February 19, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. Eric Lattimore

    After they become tech savvy they can then add some diversity to their party. Not the token they put in place Mr. Richard Steele. The Republican Party is a joke! Even their candidate did not know how to send an email. Get with the times!!

    February 19, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. David

    I hate to burst your bubble, Meghan, but it was the war-mongering race-baiting neocon message of the McCain-Palin-RNC ticket that We the People rejected, not the ineptitude in which it was delivered.

    You are correct that the Republican Party must evolve, but that evolution must involve a big change in the Republican message, not merely the ways the message is delivered. Until such a time, the Republican Party will remain a marginalized and damaged brand.

    February 19, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  18. Mary Kay

    I'm a lifelong Democrat..and she is correct in so many ways. The internet and social marketing are a way to reach the young voter. However, I don't accept the idea that the Reps lost the election because of this connection..or disconnect. It was about McCain becoming a mainstream Republican to win the nomination (look at his stance now?! – oh, he's back to being a true maverick), Sarah Palin running the ticket to the far right, and the economy.

    Sarah, go pay your taxes before you study the Bush Doctrine and talk with the mainstream media. Side bar: I've never heard if she considers FOX as "mainstream." HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

    February 19, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  19. Havoc

    George in Alabama-if you think the internet is a "fad" then your party is truly doomed.

    February 19, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  20. MissP

    Ain't it GRAND watching the Grand Old Party shrivel up and die??

    They lack ideas, they aren't intellectually curious, they think doing more of the same old failed gimmicks (tax cuts) will work – this time, they don't know history and haven't learned anything from history .... the list goes on and on.

    Does any Republican know why the Whigs disappeared and the Republicans won their first national election with Lincoln?

    So much for the generations-long Republican majority Karl Rove was hatching.

    Even Hannity doesn't claim to be a Republican.

    And Sarah Palin is the gift that keeps on giving. I, with other Democrats, PRAY she will run in 2012.....

    Lots of luck!!!

    February 19, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  21. dotmafia

    The GOP leadership does not care at all about the American people - hasn't that been proven to be true for the last eight years?!? Look at how well off America is now. They are only interested in looking after their own elite, lobbyists, and corporations. The Democrats are not much better since they've been complicit in the many crimes which have been committed against the American people. If conservatives and the U.S. public in general have still not woken up to the fact that the greatest theft in world history has just been committed against them by a Republican "administration", then they do deserve everything they get.

    February 19, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  22. andrew

    she needs to get on the tread mill and off the computer .

    February 19, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  23. dsavio

    oh yea, the internet, that's why you lost

    it couldn't POSSIBLY have anything to do with the GOPs absurdly destructive policies

    February 19, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  24. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Lack of exposure on the internet was the LEAST of John McCain's problems. Sounds like Meghan is in a little denial too.

    February 19, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  25. Matthew

    If the times keep changing faster and faster... the republican party will become a dinosaur that can never keep up because that's what it means to be conservative. Conservatives never understand the world because they are afraid of change and the world is change. Well, let them be left behind, I say.

    February 19, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
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