Politico Gives Team Obama Pass on its Twitter-tastrophies

It appears Politico is once again giving cover to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign with its latest gushing article.

Politico, you see, is sure that Obama is king of the Internet. But it seems that at least one Internet-based application has been a disaster for Obama of late: Twitter. Not that Politico mentions any of that, of course.

Politico’s piece lauds Obama’s data advantage, sure that the President’s highly paid Chicago-based “techies” are sweeping away all before them on the Internet. Politico is so impressed with Obama’s “techie” effort that they’ve proclaimed that this year’s organization makes the 2008 campaign “look like cavemen with stone tablets.”

There is ample praise for Obama’s monumental Internet efforts. How do we know? They have an expert to tell us so, of course.

“It’s all about the data this year and Obama has that. When a race is as close as this one promises to be, any small advantage could absolutely make the difference,” says Andrew Rasiej, a technology strategist and publisher of TechPresident. “More and more accurate data means more insight, more money, more message distribution, and more votes.”

Not everyone is thrilled with this massive data mining, though.

The Drudge Report top featured the Politico article highlighting the data mining issue and plastering it with a wary “Watching You” headline.

But Obama’s Internet team has been losing rather spectacularly on Twitter over the last several months, failing to foresee conservatives taking over Obama’s hashtag campaigns.

Politico only mentions Twitter at the very end of its long story and then misidentifies its impact and form. it notes Obama has more Twitter followers than Romney, but this fact is somewhat meaningless when it comes to how Twitter actually works, and hashtags are an important part of that.

A hashtag is a way of getting millions of people to easily follow a particular subject. For example, one might place a hashtag in a Twitter message such as #avengersmovie.Now, even if someone doesn’t have you as a friend on his Twitter feed, he can still see your Twitter message if he searches for the hashtag #avengersmovie.

Political messaging moves at the speed of light these days, and Twitter is the fastest way for a campaign to further a narrative. Twitter hits all the most informed activists the fastest, and this speed of communication helps set the tone for an issue. This then sets the tone for the news coverage of that issue once the media picks up on it.

Team Obama has tried desperately to use Twitter to raise issues to direct attention away from his dismal handling of the economy. It attempted dozens of hashtag campaigns to get the word out. However, in nearly as many instances, conservatives have waged a counter effort to steal away Obama’s hashtags and subvert his message.

A recent target of conservative hashtag makers was Cory Booker’s “hostage video.” When Democrats eviscerated the New Jersey Mayor for sticking up for capitalism, the hashtag #FreeCoryBooker became wildly popular.

Another one was the hashtag #RomneyYachtNames with which team Obama tried to reinforce the idea that Romney was out of touch and rich. But it wasn’t long before conservatives took over the meme and started adding Romney “yacht names” like the “American Solvency,” and the “SS JobsForAmerica.” Then they created #obamayachtnames which sported such names as the “Hopelessly Lost,” the “grim reaper” and more. The libs quickly dropped the idea.

Yet another one that garnered thousands of Tweets was #LowerUnderObama. Tweets such as “The U.S. credit rating #LowerUnderObama” and “The value of the dollar #LowerUnderObama” abounded in the minutes after liberals tried to start the meme rolling.

The best way to track the damage that conservatives have wrecked on Obama and the Democrat’s Twitter campaigns is the new website Twitchy.com, a site that tracks what is trending on Twitter.

Naturally, none of this is noted in Politico’s puff piece on Obama’s Internet operation. One has to wonder why that is.