You know how in the last few years it seems like every old person has tumbled onto the internet and, somehow, managed to learn how to forward emails of their pets to you? That basically has happened to Republicans, too. Get ready for the "social network primary."
After watching Democrats using all their cool Facebooks and Macintoshes to win elections, Republicans have finally gone down to the public library to take the free computer class. The New York Times writes that, "during last year's midterm elections, Republicans caught up with Democrats in using technology and social networks."
In fact, Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty isn't so much a politician as a social media guru. For his 2012 campaign:
Mr. Pawlenty introduced an innovative twist: a social gaming layer borrowed from Farmville and Foursquare that awards badges and points to supporters who participate more fully in the campaign. As an example, supporters get 10 points for connecting their Facebook account to the campaign's Web site and 5 points for adding their Twitter account. If you post a message on your Facebook page or set up your own group, you get a badge.
Meanwhile, Obama has his big Facebook town hall meeting right now. Can we just decide the 2012 campaign based on how many "likes" each candidate's Facebook page has at the end? It would be so much easier and apparently about as accurate.