We Are All Reporters Now

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April 12, 2012: The Washington Post: How YouTube and Twitter are hurting Mitt Romney

Much like catching criminals in the act –hmmmm, interesting analogy– the ubiquity of video is now making it impossible for politicians to run away from their past.  Is the age of promising everything to all the people, all the time, going to end?

From the article:

“Presidential elections reveal the character of the candidates,” said Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s top aide in the 2008 presidential race. “All of the elaborate strategies designed by the campaigns to obscure the positions, core beliefs and character of the candidates from public view will give way under the intense and unrelenting scrutiny of an interconnected, fast-changing social media universe.”

While that brave new world is complicating in the near term for Romney as he seeks to slough off some of the more conservative positions he embraced in the primary, it’s also a potential problem for Obama, who ran on “hope” and “change” in 2008 and, for many, has delivered less of both than they had hoped.

“The interesting way to look at this is that, just as this applies to Mitt Romney, so too does it apply to the president vis-à-vis hope and change and the high-minded rhetoric — and promises — of four years ago,” said a Republican consultant granted anonymity to speak about his party’s nominee. “So it’s an ideological objective for Romney, whereas it’s a where-are-the-results objective for the president.”

Having every public — and even some private — utterances readily available for anyone with an Internet connection makes politicians’ jobs that much harder. Forgetting past positions is nearly impossible, which makes voters forgiving you for them all the more difficult too.

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