The political parties are competing for tech-savvy bragging rights. A California congressman has unveiled a new media strategy for the GOP.
The Republican campaign is called America Speaking Out. It’s built around a website with an introduction by Congressman Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.
Moody, "John Adams"-like music runs under McCarthy's introduction. "Today," he says, "America is seeing an arrogant Congress that refuses to listen to the people."
McCarthy is chief deputy whip for the GOP and the prime architect of the new media campaign. It includes outreach through Facebook and even apps for your smartphone.
The website home page outlines Republican ideals like promoting fiscal responsibility and providing for a strong national security. Then it asks potential voters what they think. McCarthy says the idea is to open a dialogue with the American people.
"This is an open community of a debate of an idea," he says. "You submit the idea, you debate the idea, you put it into your network. And you continue to have that dialogue. And I’ll find members that will continue to have discussions with them."
McCarthy says the party will moderate the site – but won’t censor any ideas. As one GOP member put it: you're welcome to suggest raising taxes, but we're not going to take it up.
America Speaking Out apps for smartphones will be available next week.
McCarthy says the GOP will protect users’ privacy and won't sell information to fundraisers.
The Republican Party claims it’s way ahead in the new media department – with five times as many tweets as Democrats. And, the GOP says, Minority Leader John Boehner has five times as many Facebook fans as Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.