Monday, July 30, 2007

A Relatively Uninformed Analysis of 18 Presidential Candidates Part: II

Editors note: This analysis is limited to the front page of the websites of the 18 main presidential hopefuls. For a further explanation see Friday's post.

Duncan Hunter: I honestly haven't the slightest idea who Duncan Hunter is. His name makes it sound like he has a 1:30 tee time at Winged Foot but his front page makes it look like he'll be carrying bags and figuring out distances.

Cheesedick campaign slogan: Lets Work Together to Make America Great Again...there are high school marketing teachers that would fail students for that anti-gem. Why not just go with America, Darn Right.

Front page grade: C-

Dennis Kucinich: The main image here has Kucinich asking God to make him two feet taller so that he can have a shot at the Democratic nomination. Unfortunately God doesn't believe in his policies.

Irritating ploy: The video implores us to text message the word "peace" (73223) to send a message to the White House. A couple things: one, it never tells us what number to send the text to; two, unless the text is being sent to the White House, I'm dubious that they're going to "get the message" (in fact, they're not getting the message regardless); three, the text message must be the laziest form of protest in the history of mankind, I'd be insulted if I were a Kucinich supporter.

Front page grade: C

John McCain: Straight talking his way to three campaign slogans: The courage to do the hard things needed to address America's most pressing challenges; Defeat is not an option; and Islamic Extremists are in this war to win and we cannot let them, McCain actually has one of the sleekest front pages we've seen - fitting for a one-time favorite who seems to be reminiscing about the good ol' days in his picture.

Strange "coincidence": I know McCain was a Navy man but his website logo and coloring look a whole lot like the more recognizable army symbols, hmm, that's curious.

Front page grade: B+

Barack Obama: Obama's the first candidate not to be prominently displayed on his own website's front page. I'm floored by this. Maybe he doesn't need to tie his face into his name because he's so well known (not to mention he's the only candidate who's skin shades past olive) but nevertheless I'm surprised. Otherwise the site seems extremely well conceived and links to all the social networks (almost 120,000 supporters on facebook as of publication).

Non-cheesedick ploy: The dinner with Barack promotion is a stroke of genius.

Front page grade: A- (they couldn't make room for the Obama girl?)

Ron Paul: Paul also has links to the social networks - not surprising for a candidate who essentially made his name via the internet - as well as a finely realized front page layout.

What?: A 14 minute front page video? A campaign as savvy in the ways of the internet should realize the attention span of their viewers matches that of a Saturday morning cartoon viewer on crystal meth.

Wha what?: I learned from the website that Ron Paul has a son named Rand Paul. I was not able to confirm the origin of the name but judging by Paul's politics, I'm wondering who John Galt is?

Front page grade: B+

Bill Richardson: Richardson's real experience and real accomplishments won't endear him to the American public nearly as much as his real weight problem. I think Richardson should push himself as the real "minority" candidate on the Democratic side. (Also note the undone top button and tie, he must have really worked hard during that photo shoot).

Email sign-up: These are just a really bad idea, especially for a candidate that's handicapped by region.

Front page grade: C

Mitt Romney: I was surprised to not see Romney's pearly whites on the front page, then the flash feature kicked in and there he was. I knew Mitt wouldn't miss a photo op. My favorite is the one of him in a ski jacket, I'll bet he went back and forth all the way down that mountain.

Campaign slogan: True Strength for America's Future...a clever play to the Republican base, there was some genuine thought put into this site.

Front page grade: A-

Tom Tancredo: Tancredo hopes to give Duncan Hunter a run for most obscure candidate to run on a major ticket and with this website he's got a chance.

Amusing headline: "Tancredo will crisscross Iowa, meeting more crowds and campaigning in more towns than ever, as we lead up to the Iowa straw poll." Oh, really? You mean he's going to campaign more as the election approaches? That's an unusual tactic, I wonder if he's also going to shake union workers hands and kiss babies, that might just do the trick!

Front page grade: C-

Tommy Thompson: As the second most likely Republican - with the last name Thompson- to become president, Tommy Thompson is facing an uphill battle. Fortunately he seems confident of his ability to win one percent of the vote.

Front page grade: C

And until Fred Thompson throws his hat in the ring and hires some tech nerds to dream up a website for him that completes "A Relatively Uninformed Analysis of 18 Presidential Candidates," here's to hoping you didn't learn too much.

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