It’s getting a bit testy, and confusing with McCain and Obama both being accused of flip-flopping. One’s a ‘maverick’, the other an agent of ‘change,’ which gives them some leeway to operate within these positions.
But instead of McCain’s campaign attacking Obama on this alone, it is going after Obama on Iraq, and why he has not visited the country in years. So what more horrific way to sharpen the point of the arrow than attach a widget to it. The widget being a clock that keeps track of the days, hours, minutes, seconds. Ouch!
It’s not unlike the typical countdown clock you’ve seen before New Year’s eve. But by putting it on the web site –and encouraging others to copy and paste the code on their blogs etc. — it is raising the noise level of the ‘time’ aspect, forcing it into the debate and forcing Obama to respond. At the time of writing, the time is 909 days.
There is a second widget –counting days since McCain invited Obama to town hall meetings (the one he did not rsvp.)
Using widgets is not new to politics.
- There are widgets like this one (left) that track contributions to congressional leaders.
- Another one keeps tab of their fund raising.
Oh, there are pro-Obama widgets like this one, and one created by CBC News, for instance. But the use of an attack widget strikes me as a bold new move in politics. Speeches can be transcribed, but they lose their bite a few days later. A widget with a time component makes it very compelling, even if it highlights a point of difference that’s not quite relevant to the choice we have to make at the election.