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The Invisible Campaign of 2012

Recorded on April 11, 2012

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

Early American campaigns had parades, brass bands, and rowdy conventions.  Then came mass media: direct mail, radio, TV, and spin doctors telling us what to think.  The media began to cover the commercials, not just the speeches.

This year may be tough to cover.  The Obama campaign used the Internet brilliantly in 2008.  But social media has exploded since then.  Time on the Internet has caught up with time watching TV.

This year as you surf, messages from friends will pop up everywhere.  Tracking programs will show special ads personally tailored to you—ads very different than what your neighbors see.  Emails, tweets, Facebook, Pinterest—and even video games—will have messages both blatant and subtle to influence your vote.

How will news media cover what they cannot see? This may be one of our nastiest campaigns ever, but also the most invisible.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.