Campaigns have used plants for centuries to get their message out. The planted audience member or radio caller is as old as the hills, but the McCain campaign is now encouraging supporters to spread his talking points and post what could be considered spam comments to specified web sites.
According to the Washington Post, a new McCain program allows his supporters to sign up to earn points and win prizes for posting McCain’s talking points around the Internet. The campaign considers this spreading the word, but most blogs would consider this spam.
According to McCain’s site, here is how it works, “Select from the numerous web, blog and news sites listed here, go there, and make your opinions supporting John McCain known. Once you’ve commented on a post, video or news story, report the details of your comment by clicking the button below. After your comments are verified, you will be awarded points through the McCain Online Action Center.”
The liberal blogs listed as targets by the campaign are all of the big boys Crooks and Liars, DailyKos, My DD, and Think Progess.There is also one key swing state blog, ColoradoPols.com. It is one thing to target the opposition, but the McCain campaign is generating such little buzz among Republicans that they will also be spamming around 70 conservative blogs. They also have a handful of moderate and other blogs targeted.
All I can say is how badly does a candidate’s campaign have to be going that he has to manufacture enthusiasm within his own party. This is really pathetic when you think about it. The campaign does not specify that the comments left have to be relevant to the blog post that they are left under, so the campaign is in essence encouraging a spam for McCain campaign.
Either the McCain folks have a serious inferiority complex, or they know that they are in big trouble. The RNC has been doing this kind of thing for years, but McCain is the first presidential nominee to offer prizes for spamming.