Sunday, June 12, 2016

Petersen's social media 'campaign of the future'

Kansas Citian lost Libertarian Party race, but likely ran campaign of the future | Kansas City Star - Rick Montgomery:

June 10, 2016 - "Austin Petersen recently finished second in a national race to be presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party..... Welcome, perhaps, to the presidential campaign of the future....

"Last October, Petersen was living in a sixplex behind a midtown QuikTrip when he announced his candidacy on Facebook.

"Never a public officeholder, he was chided by some in his party as an attention-seeking, trash-talking internet troll. Yet he won the affection of former GOP strategist Mary Matalin and conservative radio host Glenn Beck.

"That helped Petersen break from what was a 16-person field of Libertarian presidential aspirants to challenge the front-runner, former two-term New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.... Johnson ultimately took the nomination again at the national convention last month. On the second ballot, delegates convening in Florida cast 518 votes for Johnson and 203 for Petersen.....

"Just two months earlier, Petersen had finished behind 'uncommitted' on the Libertarian ballot in the Missouri presidential primary. Now Matalin, Beck and others in the conservative podcast circuit (Dana Loesch called him her instant best friend) had made Petersen a third-party wunderkid.

"His campaign of a few paid staffers and assorted volunteers, livestreaming daily and crashing nightly at the Overland Park headquarters, raised about $100,000 through online crowdsourcing. His Facebook page swelled to more than 95,000 likes.

"'Millennials are growing up and becoming a political force,' said Joe Trotter, 29, a Petersen friend who served as campaign communications director.

"'And the technology we’ve grown up with lends itself to a more decentralized organization, where we can work together and communicate remotely,' Trotter said. 'You don’t need a TV studio to speak to voters'....

"Said Petersen of the technology: 'That’s democracy.'

"As for his future, ... Petersen plans to be in Washington next week to launch a nonprofit called the Stonegait Institute, a think tank and political action committee named after his family’s farm.... He is producing footage of himself that Matalin hopes to distribute among her cable TV friends, according to her office."

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