As the last presidential campaign showed, having the right technology team may not win elections, but it certainly helps. The Obama campaign’s focus on tech startup-style digital talent helped turn it into a fundraising and voter turnout machine, while the Romney campaign’s attempts to match them apparently failed spectacularly.
Now, with less than two years to go until the next presidential election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is reportedly courting members of Obama’s digital team to lead the technology operations of her expected 2016 campaign—many of whom helped Obama defeat her in the 2008 Democratic primary race. Politico reports that Clinton’s probable campaign manager, Robby Mook, is already feeling out people to run Clinton’s digital operations, including Precision Strategies cofounder and partner Teddy Goff, who led Obama’s 2012 digital strategy, and Hill & Knowlton global digital practice director Andrew Bleeker, who was Obama’s 2008 campaign director of digital advertising.
Building an IT team is now seen as a critical part of the pre-launch of a presidential campaign, former Justice Department new media director and John Edwards campaign digital operations director Tracy Russo told Politico. “Any smart campaign has to have a digital director in place long before they announce so they can take advantage of the excitement of the announcement and funnel that energy into list-building and fundraising,” she said. “You do have to build it into every aspect of the campaign from Day One.”
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