POLITICS

The Clinton Campaign Will Fight You On Twitter

Now THAT'S how you win an election.
Politics!
Politics!

Over the course of the Democratic presidential primary, Hillary Clinton's principal argument against Bernie Sanders has been that his agenda -- universal health care, free college tuition, et al. -- is impractical, too utopian, too "pie in the sky." This is especially true, she says, given the structural obstacles in the way. Sanders is promising to do the impossible; she, on the other hand, is the candidate who can Get Things Done.

In other news, the Clinton campaign is planning to spend a lot of money in an effort to finally "correct" the internet. OK, then!

As The Daily Beast's Ben Collins reports, Correct The Record -- the pro-Clinton PAC run by Media Matters founder David Brock -- is "pledging to spend $1 million to 'push back against' users on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram."

In a press release, Correct The Record outlined its strategy to use time and money in an incredibly savvy and not-at-all-bewildering way:

Correct The Record will invest more than $1 million into Barrier Breakers 2016 activities, including the more than tripling of its digital operation to engage in online messaging both for Secretary Clinton and to push back against attackers on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram[...]

Lessons learned from online engagement with “Bernie Bros” during the Democratic Primary will be applied to the rest of the primary season and general election -- responding quickly and forcefully to negative attacks and false narratives. Additionally, as the general election approaches, the task force will begin to push out information to Sanders supporters online, encouraging them to support Hillary Clinton.

It has been said about many of Sanders' initiatives that the money doesn't add up. The Clinton campaign, though, will spend donor cash to "push back" on your Instagram feed, an airtight model of sensible and sustainable campaign spending that absolutely constitutes the best use of a million dollars.

It is reasonable to attribute this to "the Clinton campaign," by the way. As Sunlight Foundation campaign-finance sorceress extraordinaire Libby Watson explains to Collins, loopholes in Federal Election Commission regulations allow Correct The Record to "openly coordinate with Clinton’s campaign, despite rules that typically disallow political campaigns from working directly with PACs." (Although to be honest, we would have attributed any activity of Clinton-affiliated PACs and super PACs to the Clinton campaign, because Eat The Press' official editorial position is that candidates are always coordinating with these entities.)

This initiative will also attempt to combat online harassment, a genuinely noble goal that more social media platforms should undertake on their users' behalf. The goal gets a little less noble, however, when your working definition of "harassment" is simply being at variance from a specific politician's electoral endeavors.

Still, have you ever tried to win an argument on social media? If so, you probably know that enacting a Canadian-style single-payer universal health care plan is a thing that is a million times easier to do. Hell, it would be easier for me to tame a wild Pegasus this afternoon and fly him to the Costa Brava for the weekend.

But hey -- if you want to personally hear from the Clinton campaign, just send a few uncivil tweets about superdelegates or Goldman Sachs speech transcripts or something. I'm guessing that calls are answered in the order they are received.

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Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.

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