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. Meka

    Sorry Meghan,
    The Republican Party needs more help ... other than being UP ON the 21st Century. They truly need to "Change Their Hearts"

    But during Your Father's Campaign, it was stated by one of his Advisor's "Education is a Special Interest".


    February 19, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Alan

    It's got to be a combination. So far we've heard that the "answer" to reviving the GOP is going "off the hook" and more "hip-hop," and now we hear they need more tech savvy. Neither will matter until the message changes. Period.

    I will agree, however - without Internet savvy these days, you can change the message all you want but no one may hear about it.

    In short - there is no ONE answer to the GOP's problems. G.W. thought there was ONE answer to everything. That's what got you where you are.

    February 19, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. chuck


    February 19, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  4. C

    Hey, they're sure to win next time:

    They've got Meghan to lock up the lonely nerds vote.

    De got Mix-Master Steele wit da bling bling in da howze to lock up the Steppin Fetchit vote.

    They've got one-armed midgets to appeal to the, uh, one armed midget vote.

    They've got Sarah to appeal to the white trash – afraid of all of the above – vote.

    Yep – they've got a lock on it alright.

    February 19, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |

    Tech savy still will not help the republican party. they must change their way of thinking. tax cuts for the rich is not the way to go. trickle down economics will not work. yet this is all that they can come up with. if they get out of the 16th. century and try to evolve along with every one else, they may make a come back. but it is very doubtful that they ever will. not as long as they listen to rush and ann coulter.

    February 19, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Heather in Seattle

    The tech savvy issue is really a small part of why the Republicans were defeated last Novemember. It has more to do with their stubborness to change and represent what most of our country needs.

    February 19, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. Former Republican

    Somehow I don't think that using the most current technology to wage a 60s-era ideological culture war will do the GOP any good.

    Besides, the internet (as a medium) is not a replacement for the newspaper or TV – the internet is open, interactive and encourages debate. So long as dissent is equated with treason by the GOP faithful, attempts to use the internet will be counter-productive.

    February 19, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  8. A tired American

    I don't think that learning computers is the answer that the GOP is looking for. What they need to do is learn people and how to lsiten to them.

    February 19, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. Debbie in Charleston

    It's about time the GOP comes into the 21st century. Now, if they will jettison the religious right, they may get some independents back in 2012. There are many of us who agree with lots of their policies, but don't want religion served up with it.

    February 19, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. "Lefty" the midget

    So now I can be berated by the GOP, by email, for not being "patriotic" and being a "godless liberal" for not agreeing with their ideologies.

    That's going to help them tremendously.

    February 19, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  11. Charles

    I am a Democrat, but I would certainly like to see the GOP dust of its musty old self off and give ALL Americans more political choices. McCain's daughter makes salient points here and I certainly hope they do become more tech savvy. I do not believe lack of tech savvy is the party's only problem (Oh, where to begin...?) but it's a start.

    February 19, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. A tired American

    I don't think that learning computers is the answer that the GOP is looking for. What they need to do is learn people and how to listen to them.

    February 19, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. Marty

    What a ditz, and we should listen to her why? She is an expert on what? Her own father probably has as much internet competence as my aunts and uncles from his generation. GOP Palin conducting official state business from her Yahoo e-mail account indicates to me that the problem may not be a lack of being 'tech savvy' as much as it is pure ignorance.

    February 19, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  14. Obama 2.0

    It's not the bells and whistles its the way of life. America is moving away from those old worn out ways that have made our economy our biggest threat, bigger than the Terrorist. Can you believe that! The Republican economic theory is more of a threat to National Security than Binladen, the taliban and Alquida. Hey, Im just saying what the Director of Intel told congress the other day.

    February 19, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Ed's Kate

    Good for Meghan, however, she needs to teach her father it is time to live in this century. Thank goodness he did not win in November.

    February 19, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. Dakota, Lake Stevens, WA


    It is not just the Republican technophobes who need to consider changing.

    I've been a moderate Republican since the first time I could vote, for Barry Goldwater; but, I will not be voting for Palin, or any type of conservative Christian GOP candidates; or, any of the sorry bunch of POTUS wannabes that ran during the last primaries.

    The conservative Republicans and Christians stuffed their agendas down the throats of Americans the last eight years. Prior to that, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan pandered to the religious right.

    All along that sad vindictive trail, for the last 20 years or so, Rush Limbaugh has been proffering his whacko ideologies. Thoughts and words that only appeal to reasoning impaired, uneducated folks.

    “Gee, if it sounds good, it must be true,” and, “It must be a good idea if Rush mentions it,” come to mind.

    Last November, the American public decided that Enough is Enough; and, by a wide margin, rejected the agendas of right wing, conservative, Bible thumper, whackos, including the ideologies of Rush Limbaugh, John McCain and Sarah Palin, et al.

    Conservative Christians need to form their own political party.

    The Republican Party needs to refocus on a balanced budget and wise spending, and become a party of the people, by the people and for the people, not just the rich.

    February 19, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. avahome

    People are either "learners" or the "learned". I prefer to be a "learner" and embrace technology and change....and that is the difference...no one holds my hand.

    February 19, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. Obama 2.0

    What is she worried about? Is she loosing her job too?

    February 19, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. Joe the Troll

    Getting their ideas past the 19th century would help a lot as well.

    February 19, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. Richard

    John McCain needs help to get on the Internet, so she should start the education at home. HIs lack of interest in using the Internet showed a huge lack of curiousity to learn things.

    February 19, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. Susan - Canada

    Two words....Sarah Palin...that's what lost her dad the election!

    February 19, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. Dan J

    Smart girl. The Dems had their act together. They quickly realized that style pays more dividends than substance, and the GOP would focus in that direction. McCain's comments along with Steele's should be very comforting to Republicans in this regard.

    February 19, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  23. Amy

    I'll give Meghan McCain credit where it's due and she's right and so far is smarter than most of the GOP – hmmm.. shocking that once again a woman is smarter than the GOP men. But aside from that, this is still coming from a girl who has never known what real work is like nor what it's like to worry about losing a home, a job or health insurance. The only thing she's had to decide is which of their seven mansion to vacation in.

    But, maybe not all spoiled rich brats end up bad and she'll buck the GOP system.

    February 19, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. james

    Jon in CA will pony-up six-bits for this one! But only if the old man will watch;)

    February 19, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. Kirk

    Adopt 21st Century technology to disseminate propaganda, lies and goals of a fascist plutocracy? No thanks. The Grand Oil Party should just fold up and call it quits.

    February 19, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
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