Here's our round-up of weekend reading for our political audience:
IS TOO MUCH DATA BAD FOR OBAMA?
Actually, it's called “Big Data,” says Fortune and it gathers a lot of information about Obama supporters for his re-election bid.
But this time, “Yes We Can” has been replaced by a new modus operandi for the Obama campaign: “We know you.”
Big Data allows companies, or political campaigns, to probe and analyze information about you — your friends, your shopping habits, what type of events you go to and when, what issues you care about. With this information, they can presumably be more accurate in sending messages out over email, or in identifying the trigger points that send you to events and get you to donate money.
But Fortune asks whatever happened to the “we”? It hasn't been heard from since the 2008 victory.
They built the largest online community in the history of the presidency,” says Andrew Rasiej, founder of Personal Democracy Media, which tracks the intersection of technology and politics. “But then they stopped talking to them and engaging them” — that is, until they called in recently with a pitch for money.
So could the “We know you” approach and a total shift in management and philosophy be putting the Obama campaign at risk? Read more at this link.
SMELLING LIKE A ROSE: ROMNEY STYLE
It's called the “Rose Garden” strategy and because of it “former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney isn’t President yet, but he sure is acting like he’s already won the office,” says The Fix.
Romney has adopted a classic “Rose Garden” strategy in recent months, largely refusing to engage in extended — or frequent — question and answer sessions with reporters on the trail or sit down with TV anchors for more extended interviews.
Romney is breaking from that course somewhat this weekend, agreeing to appear on CBS’ “Face the Nation” — his first non-Fox News Channel Sunday show interview since announcing he was running for President in 2011.
So is what he's doing the right approach?
Ed Rogers, a veteran Republican strategist, fully endorsed the Rose Garden strategy — even questioning why Romney would agree to do a Sunday show this weekend.
“What is the upside to a Sunday show appearance,” asked Rogers. “Don’t do it. Things are going great.”
But does the “Rose Garden” strategy have limitations? Could it backfire and what are the pitfalls? Read more here.
COULD BILL CLINTON HELP DEFEAT PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA?
The Huffington Post believes he can, but wait a minute what's wrong with this picture?
An intriguing story in the Post explains how “Republicans who tried to strip Bill Clinton of his Presidency have eagerly embraced the Democrat, taking his words on taxes and decisions on Bosnia and using them to pound another Democratic President, Barack Obama.”
In conflict with the Obama White House, Clinton said this week that broad tax cuts that expire in January should be temporarily renewed, including for the wealthiest Americans, to give lawmakers time to reach a deal on a longer-term extension that should exclude the rich. House Republicans pounced on the election-year gift on Wednesday,get through his heart http://capturehislove.com/ relationships advice
highlighting the former president's comments and urging Obama to follow his advice.
The trumpet apparently is being played loudest by Republican Senator John McCain.
“I pray that President Obama will finally realize what President Clinton came to understand during the Balkans wars,” said McCain. “President Clinton – who took military action to stop ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, and who did so in Kosovo without a U.N. Security Council mandate – ultimately understood that, when regimes are willing to commit any atrocity to stay in power, diplomacy cannot succeed until the military balance of power changes on the ground.”
Read more from the Huffington Post about how Republicans are “pursuing any political advantage” with Clinton's verbiage and former policies to drag as many votes as possible away from the Democratic incumbent President.
CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR CANDIDATE VIA TEXT
This past week, the FEC approved campaign donations by text for candidates running for federal office. An essay at Marketplace explains how it will work in a process that caught on after the earthquake in Haiti and the Japanese tsunami.
Politicians took notice when Americans used their cell phones to donate after the earthquake in Haiti, and the tsunami in Japan. This would work a lot like that. You’d text how much you want to give to a number, you’d confirm that amount, and that charge would show up on your phone bill.
But don't think the candidates will get a total windfall. The essay points out that fees will cut in to the donations and then there will be processing costs for “middlemen.” Marketplace has a warning too if you decide to contribute by text. To find out what it is, read the entire story at this link.
HYDROFRACKING COULD BE LIMITED IN NEW YORK
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants the controversial practice of hyrdofracking for natural gas to be moved away from areas where groundwater could be contaminated. Arkansans are familiar with the fracking process thanks to the Fayetteville Shale play. In fracking, large amounts of sand, water and chemicals are injected deep underground at high pressures to extract natural gas from rock formations.
From the New York Times:
Cuomo’s administration is pursuing a plan to limit the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing to portions of several struggling New York counties along the border with Pennsylvania, and to permit it only in communities that express support for the technology.
Even within that southwest New York region — primarily Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga Counties — drilling would be permitted only in towns that agree to it and would be banned in Catskill Park aquifers and nationally designated historic districts.
State regulators would have to approve a final plan, but the governor is already facing a see-saw battle of protests from residents. On one side are those who want the “fracking” industry to come to distressed economic areas against those opposed to it for environmental reasons. More at this link.