Internet campaigning not enough

In 1960, Richard Nixon and John Kennedy took to the podium for the first nationally televised presidential debate. This moment was the first time that the communication medium of television was used to influence voting. During that race, Kennedy’s charm and charisma over the television led to a victory for the young democrat and kept Nixon out of office until 1968. Television is a tool for communication that brings people together to entertain and inform.

Now, 47 years later, the Internet is being used as a tool for campaigning and getting the word out about possible candidates. The Web site,, is an extra arm of Texas governor Rick Perry’s attempt to continue gaining publicity. Available through is the Governor Perry channel for a nominal fee.

Getting attention of voters and donors through a more comfortable and prevalent medium is a good idea, but where is the personal element of going on the campaign trail. Though Kinky Friedman may not have been the strongest gubernatorial candidate, he did take the classic campaign approach. By this, he rode on the back of Cadillacs, shook hands, kissed babies and made his face known. He did not take a computerized approach to let people know what his politics entailed.

Taking the time to get to know the constituents has a longer lasting approach than simply being part of a mailing list or online forum. Becoming a peer and being able to say, “I know that candidate,” will get the votes in the ballot box, not just watching a video of Governor Perry explain how “If Washington won’t protect our borders, Texas will.”

The Internet may be grounds to inform, but by no means should it be the end-all be-all of campaigning for the new millennium.

Sports editor Marcus Murphree for the editorial board.