Stuart Stevens, the guy who ran Mitt Romney‘s campaign, writes in the Washington Post today that the Republican Party’s current electoral shortcomings are about more than just a failure to organize and harness new technology. It’s about giving the people what they want.
In this fourth decade of the Internet, one of the original truisms is still true: Content is king. The ugly, clunky Drudge Report site still harvests record numbers of eyeballs because it serves up a hearty meal at a good price: free. The content rule is true across mediums. How many graphic makeovers and relaunches has CNN attempted to arrest its slow slide? The simple truth is that most people feel there is no reason to watch CNN, and they are happy not to. Meanwhile, “Storage Wars” racks up viewers and “Dog,” the bounty hunter, has a new series.
So it is in politics. A Republican renaissance will inevitably be driven by policy. Parties must constantly reinvent themselves and prove their relevance to voters. …
Barack Obama was able to forge a powerful community in 2008 because of his message. Technology conveyed that message to millions, nurtured it and help harvest their votes. But he didn’t win because he won the Facebook wars; he won the Facebook wars because he was winning.