Sen. Chris Dodd, who raised slightly less than $1.5 million last quarter, is trading at one cent on the National Journal Political Stock Exchange. In comparison, Sen. Hillary Clinton regularly trades at $60.00.
Dodd has plenty of intangibles, but they're not the intangibles this election cycle is rewarding so far. That said, his campaign itself is near flawless; his argument is pitch-perfect and attuned to his audience. He regularly creates landfill between himself and his opponents; he's the first out of the box with attractive policy ideas, like a carbon tax. And, especially for a campaign run largely by veterans of Washington, he's used emerging technologies more fruitfully than just about everyone else.
The campaign posted casual, behind-the-scenes videos of its headquarters, interviews with key staff members, blogged live from the spin room, created graphics with speaking times for candidates during debates, using Youtube videos to whip bills in the Senate. (The Dodd campaign is a veritable advertisement for Ustream TV).
And they were the first presidential campaign to employ plain-text, conversational e-mail styles -- an appeal for money was signed by "Chris" -- as in "Sen. Chris Dodd."
Last weekend, "Barack" as in Barack Obama sent his e-mail list what Techpresident called a "stripped-down, informal-seeming e-mail" seeking last minute donations. The next day, "Michelle" as in "Michelle Obama" did the same. So did Hillary Clinton, Dick Durbin and Rahm Emanuel and dozens of other candidates nationwide.
Dodd's lack of progress in the polls might be frustrating, but he can take heart in knowing that his innovations and policy boldness may outlive his candidacy.
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