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Dole: "My Watchamacallit"

Click for full screen image In the early stages of the 1996 presidential campaign, Republican presidential hopeful Bob Dole often referred to his campaign Web site as his "watchamacallit" (Johnson, 1999). 1 As the campaign came nearer to an end, and as he debated Bill Clinton on national television, Dole made history as the first presidential candidate to mention his Web site to a national audience: "I ask for your support. I ask for your help. And if you really want to get involved, just tap into my homepage: www.dolekemp96org." (Johnson, 1999). 2 Yes, the "dot" is in the wrong place, but give the World War II Veteran, and 73 year old man some credit; despite the error, Dole's Web site received 2 million hits immediately following the debate.

Other Technologies Employed by Campaigns

Politicians are historically slow to adopt new technologies into their campaigns; even major media such as radio and television were slowly incorporated into campaign strategies. Since the 1980s, however, campaigns have been quick to integrate new technological tools in an attempt to gain advantages over their opponents. Such tools in the 1980s included fax broadcasting, videocassettes, and cable television advertising. In the 1990s, presidential hopeful Jerry Brown touted his 800 telephone number at every opportunity. Also in the 1990s, Clinton used e-mail and satellite downlinks. More than ever, political candidates are looking for every advantage, no matter how minuscule, and nearly every campaign in the mid to late 1990s saw the potential of the Internet.

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Created On November 29, 2001
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