Let us pity, for a moment, Virginia’s political consultants. Faced with an election each and every year, they must somehow gin up new and creative ways to peddle their clients to voters who are either uninterested in or exhausted by politics. The consultants’ lot has gotten even harder of late with the rise of alternative media and social networks. The days of TV buys and direct mail carrying the campaign’s message are over. Now campaigns must get their message out in real time, often in 140 characters or fewer.
All right, moment’s over. Consultants get paid too well for more sympathy than that. Now let’s see how they and their clients are adapting to this new, fast and often cruel world of instant communication.
Virginia’s Republicans are horrible at social media. Their conversations, when they deign to have them with their readers and followers, are buttoned-up and cautious. With few exceptions — complaints by Republican lieutenant governor candidate Sen. Steve Martin (11th district) on Facebook are becoming must-reads — what they post are statements: “Thanks to the good folks of Buffalo Gap for hosting me at their chamber of commerce meeting on Thursday.” Um, sure.