The Republican Party of Virginia has spent most of this century chasing its transformation tail. Now it is mimicking the Organizing for America strategy with VA Victory. There was something of a rollout at Shad Planking, but it was not ubiquitous. No threat to Obama, it does threaten the DPVA.
VA Victory is taking an “all of the above” approach including t-shirts and stickers with QR codes and using mobile payment systems with smartphones to take donations. On the face of it, the Republican demographic does not seem poised to embrace all such innovation, though the donation ready smartphones fit. The rubber meets the road energizing social media and that too appears incongruous with the party still mired in the age of Lincoln, only on the opposite side. Whether their intent is to attract followers then use a shotgun approach to contact or to organize leads in the manner Ben Tribbett suggests will determine how much progress they will make this year. Nevertheless, it leaves Republicans a leg up for 2013 as the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) takes a breather year, relieved of responsibility for any substantial grassroots effort.
While the Obama campaign has a well established and proven record of using technology and social media to its advantage, it won’t leave any residual, other than a voter list, for the DPVA. Remember 2009. Once Democrats snidely watched the bumbling RPV efforts to master technology, entertained by the results. It may be time to take a look over the shoulder. There is no reason to think that there will be any trace of the Obama infrastructure remaining after this November, but VA Victory is designed to stay, independent of Romney’s fortunes. It seems like a quasi PAC, potentially independent of personality and party, success and failure. Predictably, most Obama supporters will melt back into the anonymous electorate even if he wins; and possibly disappear forever if, heaven forbid, Romney unseats him. That is, unless the DPVA heeds the Tribbett message and sidles up to and works closely with Obama for America this year to organize for the future.
As a footnote, it is instructive to review the photographs featured on the VA Victory Shad Planking webpage. Nice, sanitized depiction of the event. Clean cut lads and lasses, patriotic Americans all, and a puppy thrown in for good measure. Nary a star or bar to be seen, on a day when they were a ubiquitous feature of the event. Too bad they missed the kid goat.