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. Steve, Amherst Ohio

    The GOP will take a fine technology and find a way to corrupt and abuse it. They will hire spam houses to generate crap. They will hire script kiddies to perform unscrupulous attacks on opposition web sites.

    December 12, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. Charlie in Maine

    Technology is the least of the GOP worries. The rabid conservatives have hijacked the party of Lincoln and as long as the Rush Linbaughs and Karl Roves and Sarah Palins are running the show all the technology in the world will not make them a majority.

    I can see the Millers Analogy test now:
    Tecnology is to Republican as:
    A) Fish is to bicycle.
    B) Head is to sand
    C) Ignorance is to apathy
    D) Pig is to lipstick

    December 12, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  3. Charlie in Maine

    for those who are sticklers for details I should have made answer D)lipstick is to pig. See I admit it when I get things backwards. Can't wait for a President who does the same.

    December 12, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  4. ralph tyler

    The fact that the GOP is not using the internet well is not their major problem.

    The real problem with the GOP is that they hate Americans.

    December 12, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  5. LM75

    Republlicans seem to abhor change.

    December 12, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  6. Crazy Cat Lady

    The McCain campaign just sold off its excess BlackBerrys. One buyer discovered that the BlackBerry he'd bought for 20 bucks hadn't been wiped of data, and he was able to recover a list of telephone numbers and a whole slew of email messages.

    Yup, I'd say the GOP needs to learn how to use this here newfangled technology and stuff, you betcha!

    December 12, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  7. Dan, TX

    In general, there is nothing wrong with either party except when it gets taken too far away from the center. That is what happened. Even with the most centrist republican they had – McCain – the republican party is too far to the right. Until they truly take this to heart they will stay out of power. Americans believe in individual responsibility, fiscal responsibility, and the government staying out of people's lives. The republicans went too far. Too much individual responsibility was misused by Wall Street. The republicans betrayed their own priniciples and lost sight of fiscal responsibility. They think the government should decide that abortion is never right and that women are too ignorant or evil to make their own choices and that the lives of gay people should be subject to oversight by the federal government.

    I am against the republican party until they admit that appropriate regulation is needed to control greed, that fiscal responsibility is ALWAYS right, even if it means not starting a second war before finishing the first, and that they should stay out of peoples' lives.

    December 12, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  8. No Hillary = No Obama

    Just can't see the forest through the trees. The Obama machine out witted the Clinton machine because of generational differences. The Republicans still live in the 1950"s. Lessons learned. Let's see what else the Obama machine has up it's sleeves.

    December 12, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    You can use technologoy all you want, but it's the quality of the person that people are looking for. Does he understand accountability? responsibility? Does he have judgement, vision and patience?

    December 12, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  10. Frank the Tank

    Gotta love the slap happy comments about intellect, you betcha the GOP will be back... I'm just waiting for the intellectuals to start hating on one another...

    December 12, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  11. Oregon

    It's not the technology – It's the message.

    December 12, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    To Chris

    You mean kamikaze...

    December 12, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  13. uninformed democrat

    What?! The GOP still exists!? Once Obama's in they'll have virtually no representation...cheers!

    December 12, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  14. Chris in Va.

    Think like a dinosaur and like them become extinct.
    Oh, that's right, the Earth was created in one day 6000 years ago so dinosaurs didn't bad.

    As long as narrow-mindedness and denial of fact are prevelent in their party they will remain irrelevant, which is not a bad thing.

    December 12, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  15. Ben

    Before you can embrace technology, you have to have respect for basic science. And before you can have respect for basic science, you have to stop coddling the people who think the earth is only 6,000 years old.

    December 12, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  16. Jonathan

    Technology alone is not the solution. What technology did in this election was to provide a sense of youthfulness to a candidate. A candidate that understood who uses technology (mostly the younger age group) and how they do it showed that Obama was in tune with the ideas/expectations of that same crowd.

    Technology in this last election emphasized the age gap between the two candidates. Obama was "one of us" whereas McCain was "The Man".

    December 12, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  17. Danny in Chicago

    Embracning Technology is not going to save the GOP. The Republicans are dying and they are trying to take as many people down with them as they can.

    I hate using the word 'evil', but after this auto/union situation – I'm really starting to think that the GOP core is exactly that.

    December 12, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  18. Larry

    Since there was only 4% difference between winning and losing in the last election, doing anything better should make it an easy win for any of the conservatives in the next elections ,we are going to be in some vary hard times soon,and unless we reduce government this situation is going to drag on and on.

    December 12, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  19. bernice

    LOL To Late!!!

    December 12, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  20. paul

    republicans, generally, are such traditionalist, parochial folk. welcome to the 21st century. now, if we can just get people to stop believing in talking snakes...

    December 12, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  21. Democrat

    Um...I'm sure the Repubs' failure had nothing to do with their ridiculous trickle-down theory or a waffling candidate who put people to sleep. It was ONLY their failure to use new technologies!

    December 12, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |


    December 12, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  23. John

    All that technology available for both parties and still nobody can provide any real evidence that Obama is a "natural born citizen". How can someone who breaks the rule of the constitution to become president be considered honest or even partially worthwhile?

    December 12, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  24. Steve in Louisville

    I'm for anything that will end the GOP's role as the party of hate, war and lies. And the Internet, which cannot be completely "liberal" or wing nut, may be the tool to open things up and allow somebody other than powerful rich people to run the Republican Party for once.

    Just like we used to hope for a dictator to come to power in the Soviet Union who might just open up the country and let the people be free, I hope somebody comes to head the Republican Party who can end the "southern strategy" and the regular pattern of demonizing segments of society to distract voters so they can get people elected.

    December 12, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  25. Godluvr

    I don't think they will change their evil ways with people like Rove, Rudy G., Palin, Joe the Plumber, who by the way, is "appalled with McCain" in the midst. They are still fighting the Dems in the Senate, and because of it 3 million people might lose their jobs. They need a serious intervention. Gen. Powell, when will you openly declare your departure?

    December 12, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
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