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. Matt

    She is right on. I told my wife hundreds of times during the election that the Dem's use of the internet was going to bury the Republicans. As she said, and I agree (I'm 43 by the way not a kid), the Republicans look and act as old as the people in the party (and I'm a registered Republican). If they don't get their s&$% together quick, they will lose again in 4 years regardless of how well or poorly Obama does.

    February 19, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. Bob

    It will take more than Internet savvy to save the Repulican Party. They now have a Black leader who is an insult to Blacks everywhere...someone who has now embraced Ebonics, e.g., "bling – bling," to show that he is Black. He is the Phase II of the GOP's unity and inclusiveness approach...First Sarah Palin to get women, now Steele to get Blacks, what's next George Takai to get Asians? The point is, the core of their approach is wrong...being tech saavy does not "perfume the pig."

    February 19, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. Charlie in Maine

    Let's see Bill Clinton Built a bridge to the 21st century and then Bush Inc. burned that bridge and built a tunnel to the 17th century and so now all the have to do is learn how to use e-mail and their problems will be solved?

    Okay give a try, but to quote a memorable moment from the primaries "You can put lip-stick on a pig and it still a pig."

    Or to put it another way with an agricultural flare " You can fill a silk bag with manure, but it doesn't change the content"

    February 19, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  4. ray

    sorry baby , your daddy is a moron. you father is a good american but the right wing of your part, he rush, hannity, o'reilly and the reat of the immigrant hater need to get there act together.

    February 19, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. JOYCE

    And that's all it takes to win an election? Don't think so!

    February 19, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. JFK

    The GOP need to change a lot more than that!

    February 19, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  7. ike

    Sour Grapes....I told you they were all desperate...

    February 19, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  8. Ray Fisher

    The Republicans should focus upon practicing what they preach before learning tech stuff. They lose support due to their hypocrisy not web pages!!!

    February 19, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  9. Lance

    Well, it requires Neurons and Smart Brains to become Tech Savy....something Dems have already demonstrated!

    Who has let her out of the CAVE?

    February 19, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. chuck


    February 19, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  11. bryanD

    yes, well, Meghan, it also has something to do with the content of the GOP as well – which is painfully obvious right about now as they continue to obstruct all efforts to help America go forward! the biggest problem with the GOP is that they care only about themselves, their religion based dogma, and defeating the other party – one that contains over half of our country...the GOP is the party of old angry white men...and they've done little to help the country in a very long time...

    February 19, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. Art Michaelson

    That is a lot of B/S. Daddy was not turned down because of lack of COMPUTER/INTERNET skills. Daddy was booted because 6% of the voting public were scared as hell to think his running mate Barbie Doll Sarah Palin could possibly inherit the Oval Office by actions of the OLD REAPER.

    February 19, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. Bipartisan

    The two sides issued a joint statement on the paper’s Web site stating that “Ms. Iseman has accepted The Times’s explanation, which will appear in a Note to Readers to be published in the newspaper on Feb. 20, that the article did not state, and The Times did not intend to conclude, that Ms. Iseman had engaged in a romantic affair with Senator McCain or an unethical relationship on behalf of her clients in breach of the public trust.”

    Sounds like a retraction to me. Why people read the NY Times is beyond me.

    February 19, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  14. Bobby

    I totally would.

    February 19, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. Matthew, Detroit

    I applaud her comments.

    The GOP has many problems and have lost their soul. They need to re identify their base.

    They lost all financial responsibility in the last 8 years. I give Pres Bush credit for his International strength but he failed miserably in the financial segment. The 350 Billion for TARP was another mistake.

    The GOP party became runaway spend thrifts.

    February 19, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  16. Ruth

    What has ruined the Republican Party is crooked republicans –nothing else–Bush. Need I say more.

    February 19, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  17. Bud Burgoon-Clark


    Tech savvy? Mr. Bojangles? Off the hook? Retardican RAP??!!

    Lord, have mercy! I can barely get my breath, I'm laughing so hard.

    NOT knowing how to type and NOT having a computer terminal on one's desk USED to be the sign of an EXECUTIVE.

    Since that's the demographic and the mentality that makes up the Rethugnantcriminal Party, I'm not at ALL surprised they think a bit belongs in a mule's mouth (not going THERE ).

    February 19, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    nothing can top what Susan wrote.

    February 19, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  19. barry...dana pt....calif

    It's too late...it is not the the repubs. are not tech savvy...it is that their philosophy is totally out of touch with the 21st century...with all the wingnut water carriers they have delivering their message and not having any true leaders amongst their ranks, they are destined to fall much further into irrelevance before we see any change

    February 19, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. Darren

    To answer a few common refrains in earlier posts- Ms. McCain did not say that her father lost because of a lack of tech savvy among Republicans- the article states that she said it greatly contributed- that does not mean she is blaming the loss on just that issue.

    Another refrain appears to be one or more variant of sore winnerism's. To which I have to say- you carry more weight, particularly with those who don't have an already fixed orthodoxy if you behave with some degree of thoughtfulness.

    I get the web, and technology (I have been involved in building and operating the infrastructure of the Internet almost every single day since '91), and I've been a reluctant Republican for a while now.

    One thing I've learned is that it is a positive character trait to learn from your mistakes. Guess what, one of Bill Clinton's strongest attributes (yes, I can actually respect Mr. Clinton) was his ability to adopt his opponents ideas when they were better.

    Republicans learning from the operational errors of the last two election cycles is a good thing. Congratulations Dems- you out campaigned us in a number of areas- you should be proud. You should be concerned that my party is learning from you, and has a history of taking good ideas and executing better than you.

    More important are the completely ignored statements that Michael Steele has been making. The ones where he says we screwed up. That our leaders became corrupt. That we increased the size of government power, programs, spending and debt. That we didn't embrace technology, and depended on what worked for us in the mid 90's. That the party needs to accept those of us that aren't pro-life, that support gay-marriage, etc. etc.

    Thats what the head of the RNC is saying. It may not be reported on CNN or other media outlets, but it is getting out to the party membership, and our spirits are lifted and our wallets are coming out.

    We're Republicans, in some ways we do better in the minority. We certainly are now the party of change, ironically. Please feel free to write us off, to sneer, to bash Bush for everything as if it still matters, to gloat. It just makes you look bad to those who haven't made up their mind, reinforces that you are in power (and responsible!) now, and takes away from time that you could be doing something useful to advance your case.

    Please, feel free. But perhaps, in the back of your head, be concerned.

    February 19, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  21. Dems Done in 4

    Yes, the Republican party should be thankful for young Republicans who speak out for the party, but it's pretty well proven by now that most of what John McCain said the dems would do the dems have done already. 2012 election will be much easier for the Republicans.

    February 19, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  22. yen

    Than you Megan. You hit the nail on the head!!

    February 19, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  23. Necie in OKC

    Nothing we did not already know...but thanks for the observation. Well, coming into the "21st Century" is not just about logging into technology – The GOP needs a major paradigm shift in their perception, their thinking and in their heart.

    February 19, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  24. dick bohanon

    it wasnt the internet that beat the rush-coulter party
    it was leaders like rush and coulter

    February 19, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. Chris in Va.

    When someone invents a way to kill things (deer, moose, etc.) using a computer the Repugs will be the first in line!

    " Where do I get one of dem dere computorizers?"

    February 19, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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