The LA Times’ Ron Brownstein offers his view of the Internet as a possible launching pad for a national candidacy:
The Internet could allow an independent candidate to more easily identify an audience and financial base, just as it has allowed blogs like the liberal Daily Kos or conservative InstaPundit to find a community of like-minded readers. More precisely, the Internet has allowed readers to find those blogs. And because the audience mostly finds the product, rather than the other way around, the cost of entering the market is radically reduced.
… imagine the options available to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) if he
doesn’t win the 2008 Republican nomination, and former Democratic Sen.
Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, now that he’s dropped his flirtation with
running for mayor of New York. If the two Vietnam veterans joined for
an all-maverick independent ticket, they might inspire a gold rush of
online support — and make the two national parties the latest example
of the Internet’s ability to threaten seemingly impregnable
One must remember, however, that the Internet is a tool in the political arsenal. It may change tactics, but it does not fundamentally change the principles of politics. It cannot alter the belief systems of millions of Americans.
The Internet provides a highly effective (and often cost effective) medium with which to communicate. It is a method of message delivery, not a message itself.