Communicator-in-Chief: How Barack Obama Used New Media Technology to Win the White House

Overview

Communicator-in-Chief: How Barack Obama Used New Media Technology to Win the White House examines the fascinating and precedent-setting role new media technologies and the Internet played in the 2008 presidential campaign that allowed for the historic election of the nation's first African American president. It was the first presidential campaign in which the Internet, the electorate, and political campaign strategies for the White House successfully converged to propel a candidate to the highest elected office ...

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Communicator-in-Chief: How Barack Obama Used New Media Technology to Win the White House

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Overview

Communicator-in-Chief: How Barack Obama Used New Media Technology to Win the White House examines the fascinating and precedent-setting role new media technologies and the Internet played in the 2008 presidential campaign that allowed for the historic election of the nation's first African American president. It was the first presidential campaign in which the Internet, the electorate, and political campaign strategies for the White House successfully converged to propel a candidate to the highest elected office in the nation. The contributors to this volume masterfully demonstrate how the Internet is to President Barack Obama what television was to President John Kennedy, thus making Obama a truly twenty-first century communicator and politician. Furthermore, Communicator-in-Chief argues that Obama's 2008 campaign strategies established a model that all future campaigns must follow to achieve any measure of success. The Barack Obama campaign team astutely discovered how to communicate and motivate not only the general electorate but also the technology-addicted Millennial Generation - a generational voting block that will be a juggernaut in future elections.

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Editorial Reviews

Presidential Studies Quarterly
Communicator-in-Chief: How Barack Obama Used New Media Technology to Win the White House will be a welcome read for cyber-enthusiasts. As witnessed in the foregoing excerpt, this richly detailed volume depicts the unprecedented online efforts of the victorious 2008 Barack Obama campaign….the volume is a must-read.
Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media
The strengths of this book are that each dedicated chapter succinctly explained the Obama campaign's new media strategies within the historic context of political climate and technology development, in addition to thoroughly recording the execution, obstacles, mistakes, successes, and failures of each new media campaign strategy….The book delightfully documents the level of unsolicited and spontaneous voter involvement….This book provides a valuable and enlightening insight that simultaneously challenges and educates us; it's a good read for students, practitioners, teachers, and scholars alike.
Diana Owen
Communicator-in-Chief is the first comprehensive treatment of the evolution and current status of new media in American election campaigns. Focusing on the game-changing election of 2008, the contributors in this impressive collection of essays explore the many ways in which digital technology, including email, Web 2.0 applications, blogs, social networking platforms, blogs, twitter, and viral videos, shapes the the relationship between candidates and voters. The essays are smart and engaging, and are well-suited for classroom use, especially as the volume addresses the significance of new communication forms for young voters.
September 2010 CHOICE
Hendricks (Stephen F. Austin State Univ.) and Denton (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ.) have edited a useful and informative book, gathering an array of essays from nine knowledgeable contributors that explore the political watershed resulting in Barack Obama's election. Hendricks and Denton present a comprehensive opening chapter; other contributors discuss ways the Internet and related electronic vehicles that constitute social media contributed mightily to President Obama's win. Not since John Kennedy adroitly used television in 1960 has a White House aspirant so successfully adapted media's potential to fashion a convincing victory. The contributors lucidly explain the new methodology, which now becomes a template for future campaigns. Selective means of communication is the key; Hispanic and African American group usages were specifically targeted through varied electronic means. This tactic increased the effectiveness and importance of the local caucuses for the Obama forces, and that proved to be the Achilles' heel of the formidable Clinton campaign. The unanswered question: will Obama's followers remain a cohesive, decisive force? An excellent primer. All would-be officeholders will ignore the lessons here at their peril. Highly recommended. All readership levels.
David D. Perlmutter
Zhou Enlai was once asked about the effects of the French Revolution and answered, famously, "It's too early to tell." Likewise, those of us living at the initial churning of the tidal wave of social media's effect on culture, society, and politics would be wise not to make any sweeping conclusions about the future too soon. Communicator-in-Chief is an excellent first start at understanding the age of Politics 2.0, where political candidates and campaigns, following President Obama's victory, will increasingly struggle to find ways to build online interactivity with supporters and voters. Covering all social media from MySpace to YouTube, the book presents a lively, interesting, and accessible survey about how the 2008 elections differed from all others and yet encapsulated some basic principles of political communication. The book will be useful both in the classroom and for the professional.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

John Allen Hendricks is the director of the Division of Communication and Contemporary Culture and professor of communication at Stephen F. Austin State University. Robert E. Denton, Jr. is the W. Thomas Rice Chair of Leadership Studies in the Pamplin College of Business and professor and department chair of communication at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Political Campaigns and Communicating with the Electorate in the 21st Century Chapter 2 : Gadgets, Gismos, and the Web 2.0 Election Chapter 3 : RT @BarackObama We just made history: Twitter and the 2008 Presidential Election Chapter 4 : Who Wants to Be My Friend? Obama, Youth, and Social Networks in the 2008 Campaign Chapter 5 : My Fellow Blogging Americans: Weblogs and the Race for the White House Chapter 6 : Obama and Obama Girl: YouTube, Viral Videos and the 2008 Presidential Campaign Chapter 7: Email and Electoral Fortunes: Obama's Campaign Internet Insurgency Chapter 8: Game ON: Video Games and Obama's race to the White House Chapter 9: Political Campaigns in the 21st Century: Implications of New Media Technology

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