The Obama Campaign in the recent Presidential Election harnessed mass media technology as away to get votes. Social networks Facebook, YouTube and text messaging became campaign platforms. Washington Post Reporter Jose Antonio Vargas on a CSPAN video conference talked about how politicians were beginning to interact with voters through new media.

                Vargas said the Obama campaign’s strategy of using new media would influence how future elections would be run.

                “The Obama Campaign in many ways was ground breaking,” said Vargas. “They realized that you can’t just run a campaign anymore you have to build a movement around you. You have to somehow convince a very big, very diverse country of many demographics. And what the brilliance of the Obama Campaign was to really try to attract as many people as you could to the movement.”

                Some political thinkers said the Obama Campaign could credit their victory to their use of new media. The daily phone calls, text messaging and late night e-mails with vote for Obama YouTube videos from the presidential nominee caused the second-biggest turnout from young voters. This movement caused a craze of “Obama Mamas” and voters who wanted to “Barack your World.”

                Vargas said the Obama Campaign’s use of new media gave them a clear advantage over the McCain Campaign.

                “I remember asking a McCain staffer about this because they didn’t have a text messaging system and here’s Sarah Palin. Theres a lot of “soccer moms” who are like texting with their kids, that is something they should have used,” said Vargas.

                Legislation could also be in for a change. Some politicians are using the Internet as starting point for ideas. The Internet is not used just to share ideas, but now allows people to engage with their political leaders. Vargas was interested in the way politicians were giving American voters the chance to share their opinions.

                “Tom Daschle used to gather ideas about health care; he basically had these townhall meetings. First he said send us your ideas. Then he posted a YouTube video. He would ask what do you think about this. Before you know it the actual transition team is holding townhall meetings in which everyday people came in and gave their input about a bill,” said Vargas.

                Vargas is currently writing for the Washington Post specializing in the marriage of the Internet and politics. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for his involvement in covering the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre.