Kerry on Presidential Money Race and An Alternative

John Kerry has a new comment about the Presidential money race. It’s a sad comment that the Primary season is completely money focused. There are alternatives. First Senator Kerry’s quote:

"The most important thing — in any issue, and everything — is, given the nature of today’s media and the scurrilousness of the other side’s advertising, that you can’t overstate how important it is to have a dollar-for-dollar match on any issue that arises."

— Sen. John Kerry, in an interview with the New York Observer, on what it takes to win a presidential race.  (Hat Tip to Political Wire)

This is ‘conventional wisdom’ in every campaign.  Yet new technology creatively applied can help the Primary from merely being a money game. What if a Candidate created a Direct Communications Channel to you? Campaigns can use innovative communication tactics to overcome the potential money disparity. One tactic, from many available, would involve using Net video distribution to create a true direct communications channel to the public. It’s not being done yet.

This channel must be used for more than repeats of speeches and events. Using Net video as a re-broadcasting service does the medium and the Candidate a disservice.

Net Video is direct communication with only one other person…the viewer. Can anything be more personal?

Most public figures have a public self and a private self. Direct communication can act as a medium that encourages the Candidate to integrate the two into an Authentic Self that the public can see and understand.

The integration of the Public Self and Private Self creates a powerful Authentic Self. The lack of an integrated Authenticity, which can be dramatic in some cases, can be seen by the public and cost the Candidate dearly.

So how do we see this Authentic Self?

First, it would take a personal commitment by the Candidate and campaign management to trust the public to see them without the ‘political’ mask. Some would make that adjustment successfully and some will not.

One form of this direct communication would to actually let the candidates be themselves and stop acting ‘Presidential’ on camera during daily or semi-daily short personal messages from the Candidate to the public.  Imagine a tired candidate at the end of day simply having a talk with a supporter in casual surroundings. Now imagine the Candidate having that conversation with you in the form of a simple unedited video.

Would you like a regular personal, unedited, informal communication from the candidate? Is it possible to give you the same feeling that you were sitting across the table?  Yes.

In fact, a campaign can create a nearly real-time direct communications channel. Today that ‘channel’ can be distributed over more than 23 different public sites. Add in the campaign’s own sites and blogs to reach a final number. The technical issues are realitively simple. The difficulty is learning how to be Authentic on camera.

This is this very difficult for most people. Most politicians have created their careers believing that they must act ‘political and professional’ at every moment. Most could grow into the process and be much more powerful candidates as a result.

Imagine the power of letting the people have their own private moments with the Candidate!

Other uses of this nearly real-time direct communications channel, beyond the regular personal communication with the viewer, include a candidate being able to respond to a news event or other issue on the spur of the moment without the editing of producers, reporters and news anchors.

This nearly real time direct communication channel gives the Candidate the ability to talk directly to the public. There are multiple creative uses once the concept is accepted.

Every campaign knows that each time the public can see and hear more of the Candidate they have a much better opportunity to understand that Candidates essence. That is, in fact, the purpose of all campaign methods. This technique, when integrated with other more traditional campaign techiques, offers the singular potential of Direct One-on-One Communication. 

This article has been based on the belief that there are creative methods of Authentic communication that can assist in lowering need and cost for paid media. Also this offers that ‘backrunners’ a better chance to capture more attention. More on the topic in the future.

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4 Responses to Kerry on Presidential Money Race and An Alternative

  1. Stuart ONeill says:

    Perhaps a better name for this concept would be ‘Direct One on One Voter Communication’. That idea dawned on me after composing this piece.

    The original, less edited, version is published at Political Dogfight

  2. PADEMJES12 says:

    Good article Stuart.
    I think that the campaign process needs to be refined because we are headed down an irreversible path. Here’s a simple and fair way to do it: Have a lottery drawing in which 1 state from each region will simultaneous hold their primary the earliest. Then have a second and third drawing to pick the order (monthly) that the rest of the states will have theirs. This will do many things including:
    1. Force candidates to travel around the country, increasing earlier voter awareness instead of a candidate making 75 trips to New Hampshire and Iowa.
    2. The opportunity to have the lottery drawing will prevent states from moving up their primaries and making this into a big financial mess… just for the primary alone.
    3. The lottery drawing will enable candidates that declare late, or who are less funded to have the same opportunities in states after the lottery drawing (from a time perspective… this will disable McCains and Cintons from swarming around 1 little state 2 years before the primary).
    4. This will quite frankly spread the campaign cash out more. Make these candidates for the Dems and GOP get out there and really work in ALL STATES.

    This lottery is the next best thing to public financed elections (which i don’t think’ll be a reality any time soon)
    Love the Direct One on One idea.


  3. Stuart ONeill says:


    Fascinating concept. Hard to implement with the DNC having their feet so in the concrete that they think their adding two primaries was HIGHLY INNOVATIVE.

    While Direct One-on-One Communication isn’t a reality yet…I’m hoping some campaign will at least try.

    To get VERY counter-intuitive here….Joe Biden had a C-Span appearance where they covered a house party he was at in NH. While C-Span will not allow the open use of their video…Biden should have had his own video guy/blogger with him to do the same thing…video the event.

    That’s one channel…”On the trail with Biden”…it gives a daily video wrap of the campaign’s activities.

    The other is the direct channel: BidenTV or ?
    Here he can sit back and talk about his topic, in this case disengaging from Iraq ASAP, and how to get the backing of a veto-proof bill.

    Find that C-Span and you’ll be amazed. It is a good example of what should be on his website and all the other places I mentioned before….


  4. PADEMJES12 says:

    Thanks for expanding Stuart. I’ll definitely check it out. Indeed, my proposal will have to come at the hands of enacting Congressional legislation, but I don’t think it’s a dingbat idea… I think it puts the “F” in fair. It’s perhaps a future end all, be all proposal.
    I am dissatisfied with the field of candidates for both parties… I am going for Edwards as of now.
    As for your suggestion, i truly think aside from smear, it will take alot of the negative campaigning away. It was shameful what the RNC & swiftboat frauds disgracefully did to my top guy John Kerry. Then it got even worse watching the 06′ Santorum and Healey races… (which helped do them in). You idea, to me will yield more “direct” messages to the voters undoubtedly.