Politics

Getting Out the Quid Pro Quo

"Washington lobbyists are being deployed in droves to tight congressional races and presidential battleground states around the country," reports The Hill. "Both parties have been recruiting," but some Republican officials have set "participation quotas, requiring [firms] to supply a certain number of volunteers." The pressure is high; "People who didn't go may be looked on negatively" after the election, said one lobbyist.

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Journalists Unhappy With Election Coverage

The Committee of Concerned Journalists, a consortium of reporters, editors, producers, publishers, owners and academics, has surveyed its own membership about the quality of election campaign coverage this year, and the results aren't pretty. Nearly three quarters of respondents gave the press a C, D or F grade, and only 3% gave an A. By large majorities they felt the news media has become sidetracked by trivial issues, has been too reactive and has focused too much on campaign strategy rather than substance.

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A Pre-Emptive Election Challenge

Regretting Al Gore's quick concession in 2000, "Democrats are already laying the public relations groundwork [for a protracted election challenge] by pointing to every possible voting irregularity before the Nov. 2 election and accusing Republicans of wrongdoing." The Kerry campaign will have "six so-called 'SWAT teams' of lawyers and political operatives ...

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The Multimedia Election

"Hardly a day goes by without someone sending me a link to a video, Flash animation, or MP3 file related to the U.S. political campaign," obsserves Steve Yelvington. "It's the first time that multimedia files have been so thoroughly woven through the national political conversation. JibJab's hilarious animations, "This Land" and "Good to Be in D.C.," have been widely covered, but there's much more.

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Exporting U.S. Spin Down Under

Australia's October 9 national election might sound familiar to Americans -- the two major party candidates are running neck and neck, Iraq is a major issue, and U.S. political consultants are shaping the campaigns. "Campaign operatives from across the spectrum of Australian politics head to Washington every year to learn how to manage budgets, articulate messages, and develop poll-driven communication strategies.

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Bloggers Shape the Post-Debate Debate

Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos weblog has written an insightful article about how bloggers helped turn the perception of first election debate in favor of John Kerry. "Bloggers, thinktanks, the Kerry campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) all worked to fact-check Bush and point out his bizarre behaviour," he writes. "The flow of information flowed two ways, as the party establishment and allied organisations worked hand-in-hand with the blogs to gather ammunition, then blast it out to the world.

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Fear And The Undecided Voter

"For all the policy differences it revealed, the presidential debate last week also highlighted what has become a predominant theme in this presidential campaign: fear," the New York Times reports. "President Bush implied that Senator John Kerry's 'mixed message' on Iraq would only encourage the enemy. Mr. Kerry warned that Mr. Bush's 'certainty' could needlessly extend a bloody occupation.

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