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. BVO

    If the message is between ideology versus science, scientific thought always beats ideology. This anti-intellectual fact remains an obstacle to progress for the republicans. It isn't about tech savviness alone, but the whole message. Republicans need to listen to all the people, not just their base.

    February 19, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. chuck


    February 19, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. Jarrod

    Good for her, I agree, if the GOP was more intune with the internet, blackberry's and the tech world of today, they might be able to get out their message more effectively to new and younger voters.

    February 19, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. BC

    Megan McCain is a former Democrat. She switched parties, I believe in May of 2008, to vote for her father. Look for her to be making another switch like the rest of the smart youth.

    February 19, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. republicans hate america

    it does not matter if the GOP get more savvy than bill gates in tech they are a party of old and provenly failed ideas.

    February 19, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. bern

    Dumb, archaic ideas are dumb and archaic whether or not they are online. For the sake of the country, the GOP needs to just fold.

    February 19, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. Jim in San Jose

    The republicans may not be tech savvy, but it didn't matter. They had nothing to say and nothing to sell. Not having a medium was hardly their core problem.

    February 19, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  8. Dave in Houston

    The Republicans need a lot more change than that!

    The Reagan-Dubya-Gingrich-DeLay-Greenspan Republicanism is dead, dead, dead. We are now beginning to suffer the effects of their fraudulently wrong theories and beliefs.

    Their only hope is to become more like Libertarians and wait until the government falls out of public favor. Pres. Obama seems like a smart, sincere and genuine guy, so if he steers us out of the Reagan-Dubya mess, people are going to like Democrats for a long, long time.

    February 19, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. SC gal

    She's so right! And I'm not even a Republican.

    February 19, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Tom

    The Repubs lost because they have no new message, no clear solution to any of this country's problem. They did not lose because they didn't know how to run a blog or send emails. They can keep telling themselves that's why they lost, but unless they get in tune with the majority of Americans, Obama will be re-elected in ANOTHER LANDSLIDE.

    February 19, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Irene

    Hey, I thought the GOP did not believe in evolution? How can these creationists evolve into anything that is relevant?

    February 19, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. emily

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

    not so much, meg. it probably had more to do with the fact that your father was incredibly ill-suited to become president. having sarah palin along to garble things up didn't help much, either.

    February 19, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. WILL IN AZ

    I don't give a dam how tech savvy you get . You won't get my vote with that same tax cut BS.Trying to fool the people with palins dumb a$$, and now steel with this hip hop crap.up to the same old BS ( come have a beer with me ) GO TO HELL !!!!

    February 19, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    The Obama tried everything and they succeeded. I stumbled on a Asian newspaper on my way out a restaurant only to read about his sister and anthropoligist telling the young audience about their mother's adoration of the moon during the 2008 campaign. Lately Al Gore was taped telling the youth at a seminar " you know more than your parents". I mean anything goes. They even spell your name with lower case letters. At least Republicans always have the decency to spell names respectfully apart from the Clintons. They are rude, nasty and ruthless. Bring it on or we will stuff it.

    February 19, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. Terry from GA

    Technology is not going to help the GOP. The problem is they don't have a message that resonates amongst people from all walks of life.

    February 19, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  16. You know the Republican party is toxic when ... Palin bails on NRCC & CPAC

    The problem goes a lot deeper than that. How shallow the GOP has become. They try imitating the Dems first with failin' Palin, THEN Mr. Steele, THEN act like their gonna one-up the Dems on technology.

    Is this just a silly nocturnal emission, or are they seriously thinkin' anyone is buyin' this horse hockey? Even Meghan is out of step as she attempts to model and imitate her outdated, uber-botoxed and stretched to the limits amphibious creature of a mother, Cyndi.

    February 19, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. Sy

    Understanding the tech side won't help the GOP - mainly because they don't get the message of the American people!
    This party is on the way out and its downfall can be directly related to a failed philosophy.

    February 19, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. Capsaicin

    Getting Republicans more tech saavy overall would doubtless help fundraising and message dissemination...

    On the other hand, were more Republicans immersing themselves in the web might lead to more realizing the diversity of perspectives out in the world, they might see the frequent hypocrisy and contradiction in their leaders statements, they might start cross-examining and thinking...

    More of that 'Thinking,' with regular exposure to Factcheck and Snopes, could end up undercutting their standard 'authoritarianism and outrage' approach. Republicans truly opening up to the web could end up disillusioned with Mr. Limbaugh.

    February 19, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. Reality

    REALLY??? What else did she say?
    Wait I dont give a hoot.

    February 19, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Donald, Toronto

    It appears as though Meghan is more aware of the 21st century factors of life than the GOP. Anyhow it is not only that the GOP needs to come up to speed on tecnology, they need to know how to cooperate in getting help to the American people. As it is stated times and times again by people who are influencing the GOP's way of thinking, "they want to see President Obama fail". Therefore all they know to say is "NO". That"s very sad but should be expected. I guess the only way they will be on the same page with the rest of Americans is if President Obama's administration agrees to all their policies good or not so that they can say we are the ones that suggest these and that is why the turn around takes effect should that be the fact. The GOP need to stop thinking polling booth, and focus on the problems facing the economy and environment. The election is over and Prresident Obama won, he was granted a clear mandate for change. The change did not mean to let GOP dictate the terms. So when Senator McCain is saying it is not change for the Democrats to craft a bill without them, who says Americans voted that the GOP should be architect of the necessary bills. They had their turn for eight years and blew it now they are crying about wanting to work acroos the isle. The President did all he could under the circumstances and they refused to cooperate. Well let them continue to be tech ignorant and problem solving self-centred. There are enough Democrats in both houses of congress to work with the President and his administration. America does not need the same old policies and solution that has caused the world's economic down-turn. God bless America and may the GOP wake from its slumber soon.

    February 19, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. Marcus

    Meagan is so right. Republicans are moving more heavily towards talk RADIO than web content. How last century is that? Talk about looking behind and missing an opportunity completely...

    February 19, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. TJ

    That's not the only thing the Republicans need to do Meghan. They also need to improve on their message. I say get rid of the ole geezers and get some fresh blood in the party. Their way of doing business is over. Remember when Michael Corleone said that in "The Godfather".

    And as for Michael Steele trying to get hip – I just wish I can get into the minds of the old right wingers and hear what they're thinking. There is no way in hell that they are going to accept this new approach. You have to get rid of the old geezers in this case too. Sorry Meghan, but that includes your father.

    February 19, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. Mberwa, NY

    I dont think Sen. McCain lost because he wasn't tech sawy, I think he lost because he didnt had good ideas about how to get the country back into its feet ... but I support her idea that republ need to use the new tech.

    February 19, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Susan

    if tech is the only answer, Bill Gates would be our next President.

    GOP is lost.

    February 19, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  25. TjayeInLA

    She has a good point on their needing to get more tech savvy, but she is way off thinking that the online campaigning is what contributed to her father's loss. She can lay that one directly at the feet of his ideas and his choice for VP.

    February 19, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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