During the impossible, interminable election season of 2008, the United States was treated to a number of firsts. Above all was the length of the race itself. Candidates were jockeying for position in early 2007, when voters were assured that it would be a Rudy Giuliani-Hillary Clinton race to the White House. Needless to say, more than a year-and-a-half later, many expectations and barriers were shattered. When Barack Obama was finally elected President at the end of it all, we had witnessed the emergence of a gigantic class of “political junkies,” for whom no amount of news is enough.
You could watch the conservatives debate on Fox. You could see the left-leaning anchors of MSNBC. You could even watch Wolf Blitzer try to stay neutral with accusations from both sides (he acquitted himself rather well). Above all, it was the first presidential election in which the Internet played an unmistakable role. In 2004 there was a big influence from the web in John Kerry and George Bush’s battle. The difference is Barack Obama wouldn’t be President without it. https://www.liveaaryaavart.com/ Besides the countless blogs, newspaper sites, running commentaries, YouTube videos, banner ads and copies of speeches, we saw Obama reach out to even the most rural voters online and have them respond. With small donations from every corner of the country, and volunteers driving around strange towns, he built the political machine capable of defeating first the mighty Clintons and then the Republican challenge.
To be a political junky these days takes time, dedication and, of course, high-speed internet. The numerous updates and blog postings online will keep you occupied for as long as you can stay focused. If you’re living outside of the urban grid, satellite internet will be your best option to stay informed. You can keep up with all the big sites like Huffingtonpost.com and have updates automatically forwarded to one of five email accounts available with a typical satellite package. A satellite broadband connection will allow you to log on to CNN.com and watch the live news feeds all day long and follow fascinating debates on “The Cafferty File.” The disgruntled Jack Cafferty, who does a daily cameo on the Situation Room, takes broad swipes at the politicians in office and has a spirited dialogue with viewers and readers online.
Or see the latest speeches on YouTube.com. YouTube’s big moment came during the 2006 Virginia Senate race, which pitted Democrat Jim Webb against mighty incumbent George Allen. Allen, then a hopeful for the 2008 Republican Presidential Nomination, was filmed making racially insensitive remarks to an employee of Webb’s, who later posted the video on YouTube. A news story covering this event would have made waves. But the firsthand document itself? It was more like a tsunami. The YouTube sensation marked the beginning of the end of Allen’s political career. He was ousted by Webb in November in what had once been a guaranteed victory. This is what people mean when they say the internet has changed everything. To see this and other important documents of our time, you need downloading speeds of at least 756 kbs/s in order for the video to process cleanly on your computer screen. On deciding whether washingtonpost.com or nytimes.com is your home page, that’s up for debate which is the best. When it comes to a political junky in the country deciding on an internet connection, satellite broadband is the only choice.