Simon Rosenberg, founder of the New Democrat Network

Just Which Candidate Captured "The Zeitgeist of the Moment"?

This morning, The Washington Post uses last week's Obama appearance in Duncanville to, once more, investigate the "movement" surrounding the senator from Illinois. Among those interviewed is a former Bill Clinton war roommate, Simon Rosenberg, who details the two campaigns' different use of New Media when it comes to campaigning:

Simon Rosenberg, a veteran of the Clinton war room and founder of the New Democrat Network, says the Clinton campaign found itself stuck in the 20th-century model of campaigning: the 30-second TV spot, a tarmac stop and 200 kids in the headquarters. What Obama has been better at, Rosenberg explains, is understanding an emerging 21st-century model: Every day, because of the Internet, supporters work for their candidates, contacting their friends on various sites, sending e-mails, watching and creating videos and forwarding them online. It is movement politics in which a messenger (Obama) clicks with a medium (the Internet), Rosenberg says.

"The Clinton campaign missed the zeitgeist of the moment," Rosenberg says, "and they underestimated the possible reach of Obama's support, and they're paying for it."

For proof of Obama's online presence, Rosenberg wrote on his blog Sunday, one need look no further than The Dallas Morning News' home page, featuring that enormous drop-down Obama banner ad -- or, as Rosenberg referred to it over the weekend, "a whole new kind of 21st century political ad." Though, much like every other ad on The News' site, it's also a whole new kind of annoying. --Robert Wilonsky

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