Ezra Klein has an even more interesting than usual column on feverish demand for the services of Obama campaign data wonks.
After Obama’s reelection, former adviser David Axelrod recalls that “one of the first calls I got was, ‘Who are the young geniuses? We want to find out if we can hire thwe”
it’s the tech and digital specialists who’ve become the unexpected darlings of data-driven corporate America. “We saw the success and the importance of social and digital and wondered if we could apply the same types of principles to people who wanted to advocate on behalf of Ford,” says Scott Monty, global head of social media for the automaker.
“It really doesn’t matter whether you’re running a political campaign or a marketing campaign — a campaign’s a campaign,” Monty says.
My first reaction to the article was schadenfreude. I am delighted that self described genius manager Mitt Romney came a distant second as the candidate whose campaign impressed people who don’t profit when the firms they control go bankrupt.
But then a thought ruined my fun. One very important change due to the Obama campaigns is that he found a way to raise huge amounts of money from ordinary people. I naively thought that this could weaken the hold of large firms and extremely rich individuals on politics.
Ah but capitalism is flexible. That’s one of its main advantages over other approaches to organizing society.
I am pleased that the hard working dedicated people who helped save the country from Romney are doing very well indeed. However, I fear that after four or eight years of doing very well indeed helping firms with marketing campaigns some well end up like Penn and Schoen — Democratic consultants who always argue that the way for Democrats to win elections is to do what pleases their other clients.
The Obama campaigns have been extremely disruptive, but I’d guess that a system which as adapted to oil shocks and financial crises will be able to deal with the disruption. I guess that they will keep on producing goods and services efficiently and will keep more power than they should have in a Democracy.