I fluctuate between being bewildered and horrified by a sense of betrayal.
I didn’t think the first run of Edwin Eisendrath’s commercials was any great shakes, unlike other political analysts who called them the worst political commercials ever. But now I have to ask:
What is Edwin Eisendrath, the only Democratic alternative to Governor Rod Blagojevich, doing in his gubernatorial campaign?
Why is everything Eisendrath is doing too late – and why bother running if you don’t have the time to win, much less successfully protest the current incumbent?
It’s all encapsulated in the latest Eisendrath campaign ‘innovation’ that’s hard to read as anything less than toying with supporters – and I can’t imagine that was the intent, hence my horror.
From the Eisendrath campaign:
March 14, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EISENDRATH CAMPAIGN USES INTERNET GAME TO SPREAD CAMPAIGN MESSAGE
It’s a First for Illinois Political Campaigns
The Eisendrath for Governor Campaign has introduced an innovative way to reach out to Illinois voters with a new internet game.
Edwin Eisendrath is the Democratic Challenger in the race for Governor of Illinois.
‘Campaigning via televised commercials is so expensive that candidates spend all their time fundraising and incumbents are tempted to turn the powerful tools of government into fundraising vehicles. That’s certainly happened here in Illinois,’ said Monica Teague, Eisendrath for Governor Communications Director.
The internet offers many new ways to reach voters. Creating a pass along game is one of the new approaches. Online games can deliver the more detailed, complex realities voters need to hear to make an informed choice in today’s world, and voters can have a little fun as they take it in, too.
‘We opted for a game loosely based on Keno because Rod Blagojevich wanted to use Keno to fund school construction and because gambling on re-nominating him risks disaster for the entire Democratic ticket in the fall,’ said Teague.
The game’s address is www.blagogame.com. In each round of play, voters are presented with three claims or promises that gubernatorial candidates have made or implied. Their challenge: to choose [bet on] the one that’s true, and reject the others.
The game was developed by Astracom Solutions, a local Chicago web design firm.
Mike Parker, President/CEO of Astracom Solutions said, ‘We feel online games are a great vehicle to help voters get the depth of knowledge they need to make informed choices. We’re happy to be able to help a candidate who shares the respect we have for the electorate’s intelligence and responsibilities.’”
I was going to pan the game, even if it was good. It is entirely too late, with one week left, to launch an internet viral campaign. It’s not going to help you when you’re 30 points or more down in the polls. It’s a complete waste of money – and sheer lunacy. If the game were the second coming of JibJab you’d still need more time than that to get the word out. But I decided to visit the game – and it got worse. I’ve never played Keno, but I’d like to believe that I wasn’t expected to find my own instruction manual somewhere to understand it. With no instructions or a help section – and the press release of limited help (and not likely on hand for most voter/players) I was left dumbly clicking questions I thought might be true that sometimes were Rod Blagojevich promises and other times were Edwin Eisendrath promises with a randomness I just didn’t get. Nor do I understand the scoring – what’s more, right now I don’t care to learn Keno to figure it out.
Maybe I’m an oddball for not knowing Keno. Maybe a poll of Illinois residents was taken with the results that almost every Democratic primary voter knows how to play Keno but me. Maybe….
Look, I’m glad the Eisendrath campaign payed a Chicago company to design this game – I’m all for employing people locally. But maybe, just maybe he might have done better throwing a big, big dinner party (say a public one for a half million or so) and made sure to employ workers from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. We could have made sure people down on their luck and in need of food got served first. It might have been better – could it have been worse?
It doesn’t hurt if you don’t care. I care. Edwin’s policies are serious – why isn’t his campaign?