Could a combination of social media and Post-It notes help defeat President Barack Obama in the fall?
As gasoline prices continue to rise, setting new records for this early in the calendar year every day, the cost of filling up the tank is becoming a more common theme on social networks, with people increasingly tweeting photos of the high prices on gas pumps.
Maybe, it's just in my little corner of the Twitter universe - but, I doubt it, since I'm seeing an increasing number of such tweets from people I don't follow on Twitter, through the miracle of the "re-tweet."
From coast to coast, people are no longer absent-mindedly staring into space as the gas pumps into their tank, or wandering into the convenience store for a bag of chips or a candy bar. They're taking pictures of the price of gas, and tweeting about it. Their message: we are upset, and we blame Obama.
People like Chuck Biller, who works in IT security in California, and just paid $4.33 a gallon. He tweeted, "Obamanomics at work. *sigh*".
The Republican National Committee is re-tweeting many of these tweets, from places like Wyoming, South Carolina, Indianapolis, Virginia Beach and Florida, and is using the Twitter hashtag #ObamaOnEmpty to collect all of the tweets in one stream.
The social media campaign is gathering steam, but it's the offline counterpart that might actually have more impact, politically, if enough people get involved.
Prompted by social media, some people are now affixing Post-It notes to the gas pump when they fill up, with messages like this one reminding anyone who reads it just how much the cost of gasoline has skyrocketed since Obama became president.
It remains to be seen if that effort will truly gather steam. But if it does, it could be a game-changer in the campaign.
Team Obama can spin high gas prices in the media, claiming (falsely) that their policies have lead to increased oil production, or blaming high gas prices on the previous president. And they can rely on the pro-Obama media to downplay it when Obama's Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, admits the Obama administration's energy policies are not intended to reduce gasoline prices.
Conservative media, of course, does a great job exposing the Obama administration's anti-cheap-energy agenda, and conservative think tanks do a great job providing background and analysis.
But, conservative media outlets and conservative think tanks are often "preaching to the choir," reaching conservatives with the facts and message that conservatives already know and grasp.
Post-It notes on gas pumps, on the other hand, are a way to reach out to people who might not follow conservative media, who get their version of reality from the pro-Obama media, or who simply don't focus much on politics.
If all politics is local, there's nothing more "local" than the gas pump when people are watching an ever-larger chunk of their stagnant income go into the tank. That makes the gas pump Post-It note campaign a great way to reach people and make them understand that Obama promised "hope and change," but brought instead a doubling of the price of gas.
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