By Daniel Johnson-Kim, Sports Editor
The race to the White House is getting personal.
Not the back-and- forth bickering and ” misspoken” attacks between the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton camps or the daily shots from a comfortable John McCain waiting for the general election, but the way each candidate is reaching out to include their supporters.
All three of the hopefuls have made the 2008 presidential election seem a little more personal by incorporating something that former president Bill Clinton wouldn’t even have dreamed of while campaigning in 1992: the World Wide Web. And the most recent plan to garner cash to spread their rhetoric on the airwaves and Web pages, is an e-mail invite to meet the candidates – after making a small donation, of course.
Supporters of Old Man McCain can ride on the “Straight Talk Express,” his appropriately named bus to remind everyone he was, I mean is, a no-nonsense maverick. On the bus with the GOP’s guaranteed nominee, you join McCain for a “day of conversation and campaigning.” But only after you make an online donation of at least $50 and are entered in a competition with other supporters.
Donate to Clinton and one might get a chance to see the New York Senator lip synch the chorus to “Rocket Man” – Clinton donators can meet the former first lady at an Elton John concert on April 9 put on specifically for her campaign. And the opportunity to hold up a lighter and jam out to the “Circle of Life” with the lady who claims she is “ready for that 3 a.m. = phone call,” costs only a small donation between $10 and the $2,300 legal maximum. According to an e-mail from the Clinton Camp, two supporters and their guests can win.
For Mr. “Yes We Can,” four donors will be treated to dinner and politics. In his second attempt to talk to ordinary people and hear their problems, Obama will set the table with food, policy and all the trimmings for four supporters who donate before 11:59 p.m. Monday. But there is no price limit for his donation; he urges his supporters to give what they can.
Although these three attempts may seem like just another sneaky move from greedy politicians, they illustrate the one important thing about this campaign: because of technology voters have more opportunities to get involved. And more importantly the use of the Web has reintroduced and reenergized a portion of the United States population that have been traditionally written off as apathetic.
Obama has 723,720 Facebook supporters, and although Clinton (139,639) and McCain (98,320) lag behind, the support proves younger generations have interest in who our next leader will be.
As Obama and Clinton continue what seems to be an endless battle for the Democratic nomination and McCain fights conservatives who are uneasy about their choice, clearly the relationship between the Web and politics is here to stay.