March 19th, 2009
08:30 AM ET
3 years ago

Preston on Politics: GOP embraces new media

Patrick Ruffini, left, and David All are on the cutting edge of an evolving medium to connect with supporters.
Patrick Ruffini, left, and David All are on the cutting edge of an evolving medium to connect with supporters.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As Republicans wrangle over the ideological direction of the party, a new generation of conservatives is reaching out to GOP activists and honing the use of a 21st century megaphone to promote Republican policy goals through new media networking tools.

Watch: Can the GOP catch up on tech?

Republicans received a wake-up call in 2008 after President Obama raised a historic sum of campaign cash and organized supporters like never before by mastering the power of the Internet.

Within days of losing the White House and additional seats in the House and Senate, prominent blogger and new media consultant Patrick Ruffini unveiled a Web site dedicated to helping restore the GOP to power.

The No. 1 priority listed on http://www.rebuildtheparty.com: "Winning the technology war with the Democrats."

Related: Liberal blogging in the era of Obama

"We kind of took a step back and said, 'Look, we're going to have a long debate over a number of years over where this party should go, where we should stand ideologically,' " Ruffini said. "But here's some basic steps that we can take now to re-engage our grassroots base and to rebuild our party infrastructure and to recruit new leaders so that when we have that ... unifying purpose ... we will be ready to go."

Ruffini and fellow blogger/new media consultant David All are on the cutting edge of a constantly evolving medium that includes long-form analysis through blogging to fast-paced snippets known as "tweets."

Full story


Filed under: GOP • Preston on Politics
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. cnnnewser

    LOL!
    Now all the republicans will join twitter. LOLOL
    When will they realize that people vote for the man and the message?

    March 19, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Scott in Atlanta

    lol... the internet is not new media, but I guess it would be to a Republican...

    March 19, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Brian Crooks

    No amount of embracing new media will rehabilitate their message with younger voters. Just the way they're couching it as "winning the technology war with Democrats" misses the mark. They shouldn't want to try to reach out over the internet as a way to beat the Democrats at their own game, they should do it as a way to reach more people.

    If they want to embrace the 21st century technology, they need to first lose the 19th century message and platform.

    March 19, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Gordon

    rebuildtheparty.com sound quite good. are you sure this site will
    take off? remember, rush limbaugh is watching you.

    March 19, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. Shane

    I don't think the Republicans can win the technology wars. The reason is all about demographics. I'm not going to go into detail, but if you look at the exit polling you should see that the people who voted for the Obama ticket are more likely to have access to and actually use the internet. You could have the greatest website in the world, but if your voters don't have or are afraid of computers you're wasting your time.

    March 19, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. gl, Pittsburgh

    The No. 1 priority listed on http://www.rebuildtheparty.com: "Winning the technology war with the Democrats."

    There no 1 priority needs to be getting though to the far right nuts that are driving moderated voter away from them.

    March 19, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. gl, Pittsburgh

    If they want to embrace the 21st century technology, they need to first lose the 19th century message and platform.

    Amen to your comments. Republicans still just don't get it. They can not attact any moderated votes with their 19th century message and platform.

    March 19, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. josh turnquist

    One shouldn't ever try to "win the war" of any kind against one's own countrymen. That's the problem these days. Politicians get it wrong when they pit citizen versus citizen. That's a dangerous and counter-productive game to play for either side.

    March 19, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Gracie, MD

    I'm sorry, I didn't know the GOP could raise the DEAD. Because the GOP Party is as dead as they come! Sorry guys.

    March 19, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Michael in Houston, Texas

    You conservatives are still missing the point. President Obama won not based on that his campaign was more technological saavy than McCains, he won because people are tired of the Republican lies. You cannot use scare tactics, fear mongering, hatred to sway voters any longer. If you want to ever win another meaningful election Republicans, tell us what you are going to do to help, rather than spend all your time telling us what the other guy is not doing. That is how Obama and the rest of the Dems spanked your candidates butts this past election. Your ideology is outdated also. You let the religous nutcases run your party. Move you ideas to the middle, than most of us in the middle will pay attention. Hope this helps RNC!

    March 19, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Jim

    Number One priority?

    How about actual, constructive ideas instead of just screaming "no!" all the time?

    Once you have a message, THEN worry about how you go about getting it out.

    March 19, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. a stupid republican

    i don't beleive those crooks. they will fail in 2010 and 2012

    March 19, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. Baze

    Careful boys, you're starting to sound like progressive liberals

    March 19, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. alvino

    Sure beats sending messages in airport bathroom stalls.

    March 19, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    @ cnnnewser, who asked "When will they realize that people vote for the man and the message?"

    As soon as the members of their party actually start doing that instead of voting for cheap tricks, smears, shenanigans and political circus because the only thing that really matters to them is their "team" winning. And not before.

    March 19, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Cynthia

    The repubs will never get it, they are stuck in the NO!!! mode, losers

    March 19, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Winning the technology war with the Democrats."

    How "unifying".

    March 19, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Ken in NC

    Now this is funny. Republicans will be using 2 types of technology in an effort to win over both the young and older Republicans. While Young Republicans will be using text messages, email, Facebook, Twitter and the likes, Older Republicans will be shifting into high gear with their new use of the Telegraph for the first time.

    March 19, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Pat, CA

    This is a good thing. We all learned from Obama's "selection" that "the medium is the message."

    March 19, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Ken in NC

    Republicans will be using 2 types of technology in a future effort to win over both the young and older voters. While Young Republicans will be using text messages, email, Facebook, Twitter and the likes, Older Republicans will be shifting into high gear with their new use of the Telegraph for the first time.

    March 19, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is futile when you're working for the Republican party that only knows how to say "NO", but anyway good luck young guys.

    March 19, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Sheryl

    This is all good but what is the message????? Just say No!!!!

    March 19, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. obama-mama

    Maybe if they try using morse code....That's pretty ancient

    March 19, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Beverly, NYC

    Razzzle, dazzle in the same idelological wrapper , good luck with that !

    March 19, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. Truth Bomb Thrower

    I've said it before and I'm going to say it again: The republicans did not lose the last election because Obama carries a Blackberry or because he has a nifty-cool website. They lost because THEY NOMINATED A LOUSY CANDIDATE!

    If the republicans think putting up a few websites and sending out text messages is going to change things in their favor, they are even more inept than EVEN I think they are. (IT'S NOT THE TECHNOLOGY, STUPID, IT'S THE MESSAGE!) Republicans need to stop trying to be "Democrat-lite" and start acting and governing like republicans again.

    March 19, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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