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The great myth of every presidential campaign since 1996: This is the year that the Internet changes everything. The Valley would like to take credit for Barack Obama's coronation as the Democratic contender — after all, didn't Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes leave the hot startup to run Obama's Web operation? Obama did milk his tricked-out website for much-needed publicity, it's true. But now that he's hit the big time, he's spending his money on television, not the Web. Obama, McCain, the parties, and other political actors are expected to spend a record $800 million on television ads between now and the November election. Why spend money online? Targeted advertising means that Obama's just preaching to the converted, who persist in the delusion that inbound hyperlinks tracked by Technorati are as good as votes. They're not, and Obama knows it — which is why he's using the Web to take money, not spend it. As ever, Washington sees Silicon Valley as good for only one thing: its pocketbook, not its ideas.