First of all, let me say that I’m not going to rant about Republican or Democrats here. I don’t plan to bring my personal preference into this post. What I do want to highlight is the use of video within this 2012 Presidential election and how it makes an impact. I want to demonstrate how video has come a long way since the first television debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon in the 1960 campaign. Video is used to hit on all of the emotions the country is feeling at this time (desperation, hope, ambition, sadness and even humor).
The genesis of this post came out of an article I found on AllThingsD.com about the T4O “Innovator Series.” The article highlighted the series of videos produced by the Technology for Obama group. So, I wanted to gather a list of videos produced around this campaign to demonstrate how this medium, specifically web video, has moved to the forefront for each of the candidates. Here’s a rundown of some interesting video content you should checkout….if you haven’t already.
The Candidates’ Websites
We know how much of an impact the web had on the 2008 election. Now, more than ever, it is important for a candidate to have an engaging and interactive web presence. Each of the Presidential candidates have focused on using the web to communicate outside and in support of their normal campaign activities. On each of the candidates’ websites, you’ll see video featured prominently. Video is used to setup the major initiatives and plans that each of the men have for our country.
- Barack Obama – The President has a large range of video content on his website, including television commercials, testimonials and short web videos. The President’s YouTube channel currently has over 244k subscribers and over 240 million views. One of my favorite videos features a young boy talking about his thoughts on the President and how he hopes to meet him one day (Ian’s letter video embedded below).
- Mitt Romney – Romney’s presence on YouTube is much smaller in contrast to the President’s. However, there are still over 24k subscribers and the videos have been viewed over 27 million times. Similar to the President’s supporters, Romney displays a video near the top of this site that features a series of statements from business owners. A number of executives weigh-in on their thoughts about Mitt Romney. The video is embedded below if you haven’t checked it out yet.
Dedicated Political Sections on Prominent Websites
The media plays a huge part in the campaign. Large organizations have setup dedicated pages for the campaign. Here’s a quick list of websites that curate 2012 Presidential election videos:
- Reuters – This organization started a dedicated web television channel and features a section dedicated to the campaign trail.
- CBS News – This site offers a section dedicated to the campaign and includes “what they didn’t say at the debates.”
- MSNBC – This site doesn’t included a dedicated section necessarily, but it does provide a filter for the 2012 election videos.
- The Economist – This popular online resource features a dedicated area for the campaign and includes video content on the sidebar.
- New York Times – The New York Times features Nate Silver’s blog (famously predicted 49 out of 50 states in 2008) as well as video content from the campaign.
- Commission on Presidential Debates – This site provides transcripts of the debates and also references the “Voice of” – a nonpartisan educational and live debate platform.
- Mediaite – If you’re looking to get a break from the traditional media outlets, then give this site a chance. It actually curates content from all of the different news sources and demonstrates how right or left some folks can be.
- Politico – Of course a major political website has a dedicated area on video.
- Personal Democracy Media – A site that covers the intersection of politics and technology, it has a major section dedicated to video.
On the Lighter Side of Things
In the midst of a heated campaign, there have been instances of humor. In fact, I really enjoy when the candidates can take a breath and smile….genuinely. Here’s a few sites you should checkout to have a laugh as you ponder who you are going to vote for (if you’re still undecided).
- Saturday Night Live 2012 Election Series
- The Roasts
I don’t care who you are or who you are going to vote for, video has the power to connect all of us.