Obama’s Event Registry — Brilliant and Creepy
It’s been out in the press lately that the President’s re-election campaign has a new promotion to raise money. In addition to tapping the Hollywood set, the Fashionistas, and now overseas donors, the campaign is showing their common man touch with their Event registry. Do the patriotic thing and forego gift cards and presents for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, bar and bat mitzvahs. Instead, register your event with the Obama campaign at the “Obama Event Registry”, and help them raise funds to defeat the evil superPacs of the Republicans. While the commentary by pundits, bloggers, and general public alike has been raucous, full of laughter and remarks about desperation, quite frankly, it’s an absolutely brilliant move, and yet one, that could also backfire on them.
It’s brilliant because of the information that the campaign is collecting about voters. We already know from previous press reports that the Obama re-election campaign has put a tremendous amount of effort into their tech campaign, known as “Narwhal.” The information they are collecting from people on-site includes name, zip, and email. When you are on the Barack Obama re-election campaign website and begin to register your event (the site is now showing a 404 – page not found when you click “create page”), the information you are giving them allows the campaign, especially in crucial swing states, to micro-target their messaging on issues based upon gender, age, ethnicity, among other demographic data. The page earlier this morning, allowed one to also sign in using Facebook, which even further adds to the information gathering in terms of friends and associates.
With every outreach effort by the Dems, such as “Dinner with Barack & Michelle”, they are collecting people’s vital data and can gauge their interest level when it comes to November. Names, email addresses, and zip codes are the gold the campaign is after, not the little $3 or $10 donations. This type of data collection by the Obama re-election campaign far exceeds the efforts of the Republicans, who just a few short months ago were advertising on their website for web programmers and app developers to bring them “into the 21st century.”
At the same time this may appear to be a brilliant “amazon.com” tech strategy, it can also backfire, especially the Event registry. Personal events should remain off-limits with regard to political theater. The fact that the Obama re-election campaign is demonstrably inserting itself into the most private of our personal family events, and thinks nothing of this form of crassness, shows the true nature of political and government intrusion into our personal lives that the re-election campaign will go to.
We’ve already heard from many columnists, pundits and bloggers that this is a “tough election”, but now we can also call it by another moniker, a “creepy election.”