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Obama's Database a Treasure Trove of Riches

Obama_buttons.jpgI signed up for the mailing lists at both Obama's and Clinton's websites many months ago, and I've also donated money online to the Clinton campaign. I'm amazed at both the regularity and the large quantity of spam I get from the Obama camp -- it's a constant never-ending stream of pitches filling my email inbox. In contrast, I've donated money to the Clinton campaign and yet I have not received one single piece of unsolicited spam.

Last night I received an Obama appeal for a $15 donation in return for "limited edition Obama campaign buttons". This morning it's a "limited edition car magnet" being offered for my $15 donation. I'm expecting a pitch for a "limited edition lunchbox" any day now...

Obama_carmagnet.jpgWell, the people who are packaging and selling Barack Obama will soon be packaging and selling Barack Obama's supporters and their private information as well. The database being compiled by the Obama campaign is a treasure trove of riches, and they fully expect to exploit every single Obama supporters who has signed up and -- amazingly -- forked over tons of valuable personal information.

Almost 2 million people have entered personal information on Obama pages on social-networking Web sites such as Facebook, MySpace and his campaign's mybarackobama.com, offering home addresses, phone numbers, their views on specific issues and the names of friends. The data have allowed Obama, 46, to raise more than $200 million and motivate millions more with custom-tailored messages.

"It's gigantic," said Laura Quinn, chief executive officer of Catalist, a company that maintains a database of 280 million Americans. The list is as "transformational" as the advent of political advertising, she said.

The campaign's biggest innovation is in persuading people to enter personal information on the Illinois senator's site, according to Bill McIntyre, executive vice president of Grass roots Enterprise, a Washington-based Internet marketing firm that advises campaigns.

McIntyre, a Republican and former chief national spokesman for the National Rifle Association, said the data entered by 800,000 names on mybarackobama.com may be worth as much as $200 million.

Not to worry, progressives -- Barack Obama's transformational campaign of hope and change stands poised to produce lots of pocket change... but this change comes with a hefty price - the sacrifice of one of Obama's core principles.

People who provide their information online may not realize the data they are posting may have a long afterlife and find its way to other campaigns in future election cycles.

According to the Obama campaign's online privacy statement, it reserves the right to "make personal information available to organizations with similar political viewpoints and objectives, in furtherance of our own political objectives."[,,,]

Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to comment on the value or possible future uses of the data.

Two Hundred Million dollars is a lot of change, but wasn't Obama supposedly going to change the way politics were done in America instead?

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Comments (11)

Clinton may indeed be a very good candidate, but her campaign organization has never matched the quality of the candidate in my view. This is where this race was lost weeks ago in my opinion. The fact that you haven't received anything from the Clinton organization speaks volumes about the structural disorganization of her campaign organization to make effective use of supporters, who are needed both for volunteer work or tapping for cash.

I've been comparing the two organizations here in Oregon, and so far the Clinton organization has yet to air a single TV ad, while the Obama organization has been on the air for days with many ads. And while the number of Clinton volunteers is unknown, the Obama organization has 30,000 volunteers in the state as well as neighborhood headquarters to organize the efforts. In addition, the Obama campaign has held at least one huge arena rally, while the Clinton campaign has mostly used small high school gym appearances by Bill or Chelsea.

If Hillary Clinton ever seriously wanted to win the Democratic nomination, then I would have expected to see a far better campaign organization that would have given her at least a fighting chance in the race. Instead her campaign organization has in no way been at all comparable to the far better Obama organization.

There are only 713 delegates yet to be chosen. Obama only needs to capture just 298 of them to win. Clinton needs 436, and there is little evidence that her campaign plans any efforts beyond her last ditch "firewall" efforts next week in Indiana and North Carolina. Clinton might be able to manage a slender win in Indiana at best, but North Carolina is a lost cause. And Oregon, Montana and Guam could be lost causes for Clinton as well. Where Clinton intends to win the 69% of the remaining 713 delegates from is a great mystery to me.

I've worked as a campaign manager before, and believe me I know when a campaign is in structural trouble. It's always the superior campaign organization, not the candidate, that always wins. For whatever shortcomings Mr. Obama may have in life experience, he at least has been able to effectively delegate responsibility to others who know how to effectively manage a campaign organization. This should also extend to the ability to delegate responsibility to an effective White House team if he is elected as well.

I've always thought that the Clinton's were masters at putting together effective campaign organizations, and I'm nothing short of surprised that the Clinton campaign organization hasn't been far better. At the campaign organizational level is where this race has been effectively over weeks ago. Any loss in Indiana and North Carolina next week, would be simply devastating. Things are just that critical.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"Clinton may indeed be a very good candidate, but her campaign organization has never matched the quality of the candidate in my view. This is where this race was lost weeks ago in my opinion. The fact that you haven't received anything from the Clinton organization speaks volumes about the structural disorganization of her campaign organization to make effective use of supporters, who are needed both for volunteer work or tapping for cash."

I strongly disagree. Your presumption that Obama is doing it correctly by hounding me ten times a week, filling my email inbox with plea after plea after plea doesn't fit with me.

I signed up to leqrn about he candidate and potentially become involved. Instead my personal information is likely to be sold for years and years, and instead of information relative to the election I'm subjected to just fundraising spam after spam.

Would Clinton raise more money of her campaign was equally spammy? I suppose so.

She could also raise money by sending out spam solicitations telling people they'd just won the Irish lottery. I appreciate the fact that she does neither, and instead treats me like an adult instead of a checkbook.

And don't be surprised if the delegate count isn't the final determiner of who gets the nomination, Paul.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

And if losing in Indiana and North Carolina dooms her campaign as you suggest, and I'm not sure that's the case but let's assume it is because you're a smart guy and I'm not so smart -- wouldn't it make sense to not spend money on TV ads in later races, like Oregon?

If she survives Indiana and North Carolina money will flow into her campaign again, as it did in the 24 hours following Pennsylvania, and she'll have the resources to spend in Oregon.

Better to spend all she can afford in NC and IN now, yes ?

and hope that a win in Indiana and NC triggers new cash for Oregon?

Lee. I'll vote for the Democratic nominee no matter who they are, I'm not that partisan to any one candidate. But if Clinton runs the same sort of awful campaign against the GOP campaign machine in November, then John McCain wins hands down. The campaign organization is one of the worst I've seen in years, nearly as bad as the Michael Dukakis csmpaign that blew a 17 point lead and lost to Bush in 1988.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

If Clinton prevails against Obama, while spending tens of millions less than he, I think we're in good shape going into November.

The democratic nominee is a shoo-in for President, the question is what will happen to down-ticket democrats.

With Obama on top of the ticket blue dog Democrats will take a beating, and we stand the chance of losing the advantage gained in the house, rather than the more hopeful goal of picking up the filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Obama has more baggage dragging behind him. The eight weeks we've suffered through with Wright maybe in, in retrospect come December, the easy part.

Barack just isn't smart enough to have (a) seen it coming and (b) head it off - and there is good reason to fear what's still ahead with young Barack.

P. Bunyan:

Wow. I just wanted to relate a personal story here, but I read through the above comments first and I just had to say "wow". I wish I could get my hands on what you guys are smoking.


I went to BO's website a couple months ago to see if I could find any substance or maybe get a clue where he stands on important issues. Of couse I really didn't see anything that wasn't vague and meaningless.

Now this was a while ago so it may have changed, but before I could get to the website I had to go through a couple screens demanding personal information from me. I couldn't skip over them so of course I made everything up, but I have to wonder-- I mean most Obama supporters don't seem to be very bright so I bet many of them willing gave out all this personal information.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

There's always been a link on the page to skip the donation pitch and go directly to the website. You couldn't figure that out?

Wow. No wonder you vote Republican.

P. Bunyan:

"There's always been a link on the page to skip the donation pitch"

Can you prove that?

I'm talking about 5 or 6 months ago. Yes, today I went to the site and the "skip" link was there. The last time I went to the site it was not, or at the ver least it was damn well hidden. In fact I tried just leaving everything blank but that didn't let me in either. It was not until I entered junk info that I was able to access the site.

As far as me being a Republican, as I said many times before I am a Libertarian. I just support the Republicans because they are not 100% opposed to liberty like the marxist Democrats are and I'm pragmatic enough to realize that voting Libertarian is throwing away my vote.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I've been there tons of times, and have never not seen it there.

You may be right, I'm just saying what has been my experience - and tweaking your nose a bit. Don't get your lumber in an uproar, P. Bunyan *wink.

Good for you on not voting Republican. Throwing away your vote - eh -- not so smart perhaps -- but not voting Republican is a good thing. You can come here and claim the patrons of this blog are dope-smoking Marxists anytime now...

P. Bunyan:

Umm, Lee you misread what I wrote. I do support and do usually, pragmatically vote for Republicans, I just would prefer Libertarians (even though I don't agree with their platform 100% either).

If there is a case where I'm very, very sure my vote won't matter then I usually vote for the Libertarian.

And it's shocking that you can support Hillary without noticing that she devoutly believes: "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs". I recognize that concept behind almost everything she says. And that my friend, is Marxism.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Got it - you don't throw your vote away - I misread that, sorry.

And you're shocked that I don't believe Clinton is a Marxist? Why I'm shocked that you're shocked... but feel free to point to anything she's said or done that speaks Marxist to you, because I can't think of anything.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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