Justin Hart of MyManMitt makes an argument for why Fred Thompson is going nowhere if he uses the internet. This is, of course, correct, as far as he takes it… which isn’t very far. His position is a straw man.
First, Thompson could do what Mitt Romney is doing, which I have reviewed very positively. It is an axiom of politics that candidate-to-voter contact moves votes like nothing else. Romney is using technology to enhance that.
Second, Thompson will probably use technology to communicate regularly with his base. He is collecting a lot of information, as I noticed. Thompson has demonstrated that he can produce content on a pretty steady basis that some group of activists will consume. Imagine delivering issue content to his base once or twice a week, as he has been doing at ABC and NRO. That would be new. And, of course, they would hope people would forward it around.
Third, another axiom of politics is that voter-to-voter contact is very effective. It is clear from early results on the website that the Thompson online campaign team intends to emphasize voter-to-voter contact. Even the most obvious implementation collects that information. And it probably appends it to a voter list, so you have demographics and any other stuff you have about the volutneers, voters, etc.
Now, it is clear that in Iowa and New Hampshire, and to a lesser extent South Carolina, pressing the flesh is important. But you can’t press every piece of flesh. And you can have virtual contact in-between press-fleshing. And that’s what the game is.
What Justin’s post probably tells us is that the Romney campaign intends to push the "Fred is lazy" meme. It also tells us that they are a little worried that they might be facing an innovative campaign. They could lose all their lame process stories to a more clever campaign…