WASHINGTON (CNN) – In Virginia, where this fall's gubernatorial election will likely be seen as a test of the White House's political muscle, Democratic hopeful Brian Moran has become the first candidate of the 2009 cycle to launch an online social network - and it doesn't stray far from President Obama's winning model.
Last year, the Obama campaign's social networking platform - My.BarackObama.com - became an indispensable tool for mobilizing the grassroots supporters that helped propel him to victory.
Moran's new site is called "Organize Virginia," a title that calls to mind "Organizing for America," the Obama perma-campaign apparatus that undertook a nationwide canvass over the weekend to rally support for the president's budget.
The site has a look and feel reminiscent of the Obama online platform, offering supporters tools to organize on their own by starting groups, raising money, blogging and planning events.
The Moran campaign isn't hiding from the obvious comparison.
"Our online organizing tool connects the grassroots and the netroots, just like the Obama campaign," said Moran spokesman Jesse Moran. "We can be the first to do this effectively because, from local leaders to big city mayors, we have the grassroots necessary to support it."
The site, which went live for supporters on Friday, was created by Jerome Armstrong, the pioneering blogger and strategist who once worked for former Virginia governor Mark Warner when the now-Senator was considering a presidential bid in 2007.
Moran is running for his party's nomination against two other Democrats: former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe and state Sen. Creigh Deeds. The winner of the June 9 primary will face off against Republican Bob McDonnell, the commonwealth's former Attorney General.
It's good to see other Democrats embrace President Obama's strategy just as President Obama embraced Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy. I think the Democrats have become as forward-looking as possible and have been emboldened by the excitement and success of the Obama campaign.
Moran sounds like the right guy for the job. Let's keep VA blue and please let's not elect McAuliffe. By the way, Eric Cantor MUST go!!!
SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS
Wish him well. Ofcourse the election of Obama was all time one to remember!
Brian Moran is who Virginia needs. I for one am very glad he's going hi-tech in the primary.
McDonnell/Bolling will clean house with Ken Cucinelli bringing up the rear. Virginia WILL go Red in 2009...
Remember, it's the message, not just the method of delivery. Good luck – Hope all goes well.
Moran is doing the right thing by trying to launch what was a very successful initiative started by Barack Obama. This new wave of campaigning is the future of politics as it touches basis with old and new demographics.
Hopefully it will turn Republican again. Cantor has represented Va. well.
I think the Obama campaign changed political campaigning for good – and for the better! It's a more inclusive process that lets people who are spread out geographically connect online. That online connection drives the community level involvement necessary to win an election. I'm very proud that a Virginia gubernatorial candidate is the first to pioneer a state based system for community political activism. Brian Moran is a very forward thinking leader who embraces change and is leveraging it for the good of all Virginians. I think that's the kind of leadership we will see from him as Governor too.