(CNN) – The top political videos of 2011 prove political ads and messages can go viral too, with President Barack Obama, Republican presidential candidates and Jon Stewart making the YouTube list.
The buzzed about commercial from former Republican presidential contender Herman Cain's campaign, featuring his chief of staff smoking, nabbed the ninth spot with over 1.7 million hits while his former rival Rick Perry's Christmas spot received over three times as many clicks.
(CNN) - It's been dubbed the "'Oops' heard around the world," and now there's YouTube evidence to back that up.
According to the video share site, the 53-second clip of Perry's stumble during Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate was the top-rising search that night and was the most-viewed YouTube video in the U.S.on Thursday morning.
Washington (CNN) - As part of a White House offensive in support of this week's State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama will hold a YouTube interview Thursday to answer questions submitted by viewers.
The interview on YouTube at 2:30 p.m. ET is part of a series of events in which top administration officials are talking directly to Americans about administration policies set out in Tuesday's address to a joint session of Congress. It remains unclear how the submitted questions will be chosen however.
(CNN) - In what is becoming a regular occurrence at the White House, a senior adviser will answer questions submitted via YouTube after the president's Oval Office address Tuesday night.
Deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes will answer questions submitted by the public on YouTube. Users of the site have voted on their favorites and Rhodes will answer the questions that received the most votes.
"The Open for Questions live chats are an increasingly popular and effective way for the Administration to create a online dialogue between senior officials and Americans across the country about issues they care about, such as the end of combat operations in Iraq," White House director of new media Macon Phillips told CNN.
This is not the first time the White House has used YouTube to solicit and then answer questions on major topics. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs participated in one after Gulf oil spill, and former White House communications director Anita Dunn answered questions after Obama's speech to the Join Session of Congress regarding health care. The president himself has even participated in one of the sessions.
Washington (CNN) – Moments after President Obama addresses the nation about the oil spill Tuesday in a primetime address, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs will field questions about the situation that were submitted online by the public.
The White House will have final say on what questions are presented, but White House spokesman Nick Shapiro noted that Gibbs will answer the most popular in each category.
"The questions will be voted on by the public and the popular questions will rise to the top," Shapiro said in an e-mail.
In a short video posted on the White House's YouTube channel, Gibbs invites the public to submit questions through an online platform called Google Moderator. The Google tool allows users to submit questions in several categories including "BP Accountability," "Cleanup Plan," "Gulf Region recovery," "Environmental impact," and "Other" as well as express approval or disapproval through "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" icons for each question.
Earlier this year, after his first State of the Union address, Obama personally took questions submitted by YouTube users during an interview distributed on the popular online video site.
– CNN Audience Interaction Producer Eric Kuhn contributed to this report.
New York (CNN) - Facebook and YouTube Thursday launched hubs for campaigns tools candidates can use while gearing up to the next election cycle.
Facebook unveiled the "U.S. Politics on Facebook" page that will highlight how politicians, elected officials, and political campaigns are using Facebook.
The leading social network site has a "Facebook and Government" and "Congress on Facebook" page, which delivers interesting use-cases of Facebook being used to govern, as well as Facebook's targeted message to the politicians. "U.S. Politics on Facebook" will only highlight campaign uses, such as when Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty hosted the first "Facebook Town Hall" in late March.
To help candidates deliver their messages more effectively and directly, YouTube launched the "You Choose 2010 Campaign Toolkit."
Washington (CNN) - House Republicans are competing in a three-round new media competition, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, vice chair of the House Republican Conference, announced on Twitter Tuesday.
This week's round focuses on Twitter, with points up for grabs for adding new followers on the growing microblogging and social media service. "[Fifty-six] #GOP offices are in qualifying round. The top 32 will move into bracket-style tourney on Friday," Rodgers broadcasted on Twitter.
"Subsequent rounds will be on @Facebook & @YouTube. Final rounds on all 3," she explained in another tweet.
The 56 Twitter accounts competing in the initial round are a hodgepodge of individual Republicans and the Twitter feeds for select House GOP organizations.
Washington (CNN) - When Maine gubernatorial candidate Steve Abbott launched a new advertisement called “Prosperity” on his Web site Thursday, the last thing he expected was that it would lead supporters to a video about streaking.
The advertisement was embedded on the campaign Web site using video hosting platform blip.tv. When the video finished playing, a "staff picks" feature popped up suggesting a documentary: "Streak to Win." The streaking video could then be played on the campaign Web site. But the documentary, about a college streaking team from Upstate New York, is not produced by the Abbott campaign.
The unusual situation was first reported by the Washington Independent. The Independent’s reporter had to click through two tiers of navigation by watching the political advertisement, then clicking on the link to the blip.tv staff picks, and then clicking on the link to the video to make it appear.
When the campaign saw screen grabs posted by the Independent, it responded swiftly by switching its video hosting platform from blip.tv to YouTube.
"While we'd love to see Steve Abbott streak to a win for Maine governor, this wasn't what we had in mind," Abbott’s Director of Communications Felicia Knight told CNN.
Austin, Texas (CNN) - Get ready for more YouTube interviews with political newsmakers like the one President Obama did last month.
"This is just the beginning," said Steve Grove, the head of news and politics at YouTube, speaking over the weekend at the technology mega-conference South by Southwest on a panel titled "Interviewing the President: How YouTube Can Do It Better."
Grove, joined on the panel by Olivia Ma, YouTube's news manager, spoke publicly for the first time about the February 1 event, in which Grove asked Obama 14 questions in 30 minutes. All of the questions had been submitted over the course of five days over YouTube and voted on by the site's users.
According to Grove, Obama enjoyed the format and is open to doing another YouTube interview. "He's conformable in that environment," Grove said.
Grove did not say whether YouTube planned another Obama interview. But Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper did one just this week, as did Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, who spoke exclusively about his new broadband plan.
At the same time, Grove said he realizes that "politicians want to do these when they are popular. Democracy is cool when you're popular."
Washington (CNN) – Are there still questions about health care unanswered? YouTube is now going to let people ask those questions directly to the politicians.
YouTube is live streaming the White House health care summit on CitizenTube, and providing a platform where users will be able to submit questions to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader John Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
On Friday, the congressional leaders will then take the top-rated questions and upload their own videos answering a selection of the top-voted questions.
"YouTube has become the place where leaders can consistently connect directly with citizens around key events in the political process," Steve Grove, head of news and politics at YouTube, told CNN. "That opportunity for meaningful dialogue makes politics feel more personal, more democratic, and opens up Washington in exciting new ways."