December 13th, 2008
07:43 AM ET
12 years ago

GOP warned to embrace technology or face 'suicide'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Ken Blackwell and other candidates for the GOP chairmanship have used Facebook to reach supporters."] (CNN) - When Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis decided to throw his hat in the ring to head the Republican Party, he announced his intentions on an unlikely forum: Twitter.

Not too long ago, the social networking Web site most popular among teenagers and 20-somethings was probably the last place you would expect to find a candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship.

But then Barack Obama's presidential campaign appeared to revolutionize the way technology could be integrated into every facet of a campaign - from fundraising to media outreach to voter mobilization.

The result was a Democratic Party that outpaced its rival in nearly every measure - in the process revealing how detrimental the GOP's apparent lack of tech fluency proved to be on Election Day.

The Republican Party is playing catch-up, hoping to compete with Democrats in the next two pivotal election cycles.

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soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Mike Dallas

    If we all survive this Republican Recession, then it will be nice wnen Obama's team uses some of that savy technology experience and streamlines the federal government in every way possible.

    December 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. jack

    I went to the cemetery today and laid flowers on the grave of the Grand old Party. When they turned the party over to the Christian right, the GOP as it was known died. Forget technology, a complete house cleaning is what is needed.

    December 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  3. Independent voter

    I don't think the republicans will recover that quickly. I hate to say thta Bush has left the repubs party flat, scary and dangerous. I cannot imagine voting for Palin, even if she was to go to school, learn about national security and the world outside of Alaska. Nothing would make me vote her way. Huckabee may have a chance to put up a good fight, but no way would he win. Our country has evolved and we have more dems than repubs and the Independents are really counting on Obama to do a good enough job to vote for him again. I am not sure who else would be running next time around, but there is no one else even close to getting more votes.

    December 12, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. Bush be Gone

    Wasn't what's her name seen using the "brick" to call her Neiman's personal shopper?

    That is pretty current for repugs they have to take things slow, very slllloooowwwww...

    December 12, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  5. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Technology is the least of the Republican's problems. Far more important would be to dump the self-righteous, bigoted, bible-thumping and go back to philosophies of fiscal responsibility, respect for the rights of individuals, and respect for the sovereignty of nations. Without that, it doesn't matter in the slightest whether they use the Internet or smoke signals–it's their message that's costing them support, not the medium by which that message is delivered.

    December 12, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. A Real American

    Technology won't help them. First, they need to overcome their innate opposition to the founding principles of a democratic society. If they can manage that and overcome their penchant for acting like spoiled children when they don't get their way, then maybe they can begin rebuilding their political party.

    December 12, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Dennis from Millbrae, CA

    Remember the crowds behind McCain and Palin during the campaign? Mostly old, white folks, right? (I'm a 61 year old white supporter of Barack Obama.) Certainly very little ethnic diversity in those crowds and probably very little tech acumen. (I'm trying to picture Joe the Plumber at computer terminal.) The Republican party is following the same path as the Big 3 heading toward oblivion.

    December 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. Rushpublicans Are The G.O.P.

    Too late, you lost a whole generation.

    December 12, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |

    I'm from OHIO this man is crooked, no morals,integrity, or the desire to help others, only himself. He helped steal the election for Bush in 2004 every one in Ohio knows that. He was used by the his party. Then when he ran for governor his party didn't vote for him. At that time Ohio was a RED STATE. I believe most of the people the Republican Party only care about money, power, control, and dividing the American people. DIVIDE AND CONCOR. How many people of color did you see at their convention? Only old WHITE FACES, very few young people. They try very hard to attract people of color and those that are involved with the party they make them believe they are interested in them (Joe the plumber, Sarah Palan, Colon Powell etc.) then they use them, front them, after the use they are forgotten or ignored. Condy Rice had no power, she ran all over the world, made few changes. An intelligent black women used by the her party. Please let Blackwell have what ever he wants. Ohio will stay a Democratic State for ever. Just ask some Ohio people how they feel about Ken Blackwell. He only wants money and power.

    December 12, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  10. voter

    oh so don't use technology. the public is tired of the republicans anyway. it is time for them to be disbanded. no love lost here. good riddence.

    December 12, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. Bob

    High tech had NOTHING to do with the election result.

    I would say a sick economy and an old man who thought it was doing OK did himself in.

    Let's put it another way: put Obama in four years with Bush's economy and guess what? The GOP will win in a walk even if they use the Pony Express.

    December 12, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. worried

    i'm done with the republican party, they tried to shove their foolish gimmicks down our throats, and even when they knew they were wrong they still wouldn't admit it, america deserves better.

    December 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. J Williamson

    The Republican party used to be about so much more than it has been in the last several election cycles – the slash and burn strategy. It worked until it no longer did. Perhaps getting back to its basic core beliefs will be a good start – stand for something again – instead of being so rabidly against anything that read "Democrat." Demonizing opponents is not the way to go – Karl Rove and Company should be banished once and for all. Say what you will about Richard Nixon, but the three-time Presidential nominee (twice a winner) knew what worked and what did not better than anybody else. After the Republican election disaster of 1964, he took to the road re-making and re-building the party so as to make it (and himself) viable once again. It worked – he won the presidency in 1968 largely based on many "seeds" he himself planted all over America.

    December 12, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. Marge

    What the republicans need is a rock star type like obama. Doesn't matter if he is intelligent, knows anything about politics all he has to do is wave and shout and give speeches written by a good speech writer. And that my friend will give the democratic candidate obama something to over come.

    December 12, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  15. Lipstick Logic

    Their problem is not technology, but the fact that they don't like people. Unfortunately, people not technology have to vote. If you don't like people, and people are the're back at square one.

    No amount of technology is going to overlay the fact that most Republicans care about big businesses and themselves. You get out of the process what you put in, if you're only putting in your self interest, you will be the only one voting for you.

    Barack is for the people and the GOP is still giving us lip service. As the general election has pointed out "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

    December 12, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  16. Matt

    You mean to tell me the GOP is resisting doing things in a transparent, above-board manner that would make it harder to engage in back-room dealing and sneakiness? I'm flabberghasted...

    December 12, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  17. Tom, Golden

    The GOP denies SCIENCE- how can they embrace technology? Ideology is their hand in trade, not change. Remember the Luddites.

    December 12, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  18. Larry, NH

    Turn it off. The GOP robot is running out of energy. The last time I looked that energizer bunny was running to Colorado saying "trickle down, trickle down t r i c k l e......d .o...w...n.... then it fell over, and died.

    December 12, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  19. serah

    If GOP is working so hard to kill auto industry in Northern states which are battle ground states, i do not see how they will get votes from these states whether they use technology or not. They claim unionized workers in these states get higher pay per hour compared to those who work in foreign based auto industry, My question is, why dont they do something to have the foreign auto industries give good pay to American employees now that they financially sound, up to date with technology and in good business. Why cant they fight for a pay rise for the people they represent especially now that the economy is terrible and people are hurting, food prices is gone up, education and healthcare is gone up. Why are they instead asking that the US auto industry reduce the wages for its employees? Are these the days to reduce wages/salaries or give a pay rise. It is a shame to see those "patriotic americans' not supporting the US auto industry. Just think of it this way, should the industry fail, what headlines will dominate the rest of the world about US? First of all, investors will move to China, Russia, Dubai etc The news will be, America goes bankrupt or ....and finally the super power is down on its knees something in that tune. It is horrifying to think of the outcome. GOP better think twice about the policies they hold onto.

    December 12, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  20. Jared

    The GOP lost big in this election because conservatives (like me) no longer feel represented by the party. Embracing technology will do nothing for the GOP if the GOP still refuses to embrace its core constituency – conservative voters. For too long, the GOP has tried to have the appearance of the Democrat Party, but lack the policy thereof. In the end, you get the same thing, except the Democrats are at least honest about their attempts to screw me over and the Republicans hope I won't notice.

    If the GOP wants to have success in the future – Yes, it must embrace technology. However, there is so much more that needs to be done. For starters, stop worrying about what liberals think and get back to conservatism.

    December 12, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  21. S. Doogood

    All the technology in the world will not help a flawed message.

    December 12, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  22. Sheilah, PA

    They will pick a black face for their next leader. Why? Because the GOP has no imagination. They are so shallow they think just any old black person and his black face will focus attention on them. Wrong. The two black candidates mentioned are green with envy. Every time they get on television they spew hateful words at Obama and his supporters. This is not leadership. It's just plain crazy. No one wants to listen to a screaming baby, upset because the other black guy is getting more attention.

    Shhhh.... the GOP doesn't realize, it's not the face, it's the message. Keep spewing hate...we Dems love it. It will put us right back in the White House in 2012.

    Obama was the right choice for America. Anything else is a poor copy of the real thing.

    December 12, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  23. purple mountains

    no more republicans.

    December 12, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  24. The Next Generation

    Dear GOP: No, please refrain from embracing technology. New ideas and openness are anathema to you. Just keep thinking that the internet is a series of tubes, invented by Al Gore, that only those darn kids use. Technology is worthless to the mighty GOP, like all new-fangled things. New things promote thinking, openness and liberal thinking, which are the work of the devil. Reject newness and remember: The old ways are still the best ways. Sincerely, The Next Generation

    December 12, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  25. Fred Quimby

    Technology is not the GOP problem. Policies are the GOP problem.

    If you want to know what is about to happen the GOP, Google the British Conservative Party in 1997. Their ideas were out of date and their good old boy network was out of date. Labor came along and blew the tories out of the water. In the following years, the Conservatives were in denial about what went wrong. Here is is 11 years later and they are only finally starting to see the big picture.

    December 12, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
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