Jerome runs a hugely influential Democrat blog called MyDD and played a big part in putting a little known Governor called Howard Dean within an ace of being the Democrat nomination for President in 2004. The lessons of this campaign – talking to people on eye-level, in their language not in sound bites and being prepared to have a two-way dialogue – have influenced politicians across the globe. He co-wrote a superb book called Crashing The Gate that lays out the lessons for the political establishment.
UK politicians have so far responded in terms of trying to use clever gadgets rather than the basic lessons of talking to people differently. Jerome working for Paddick raises the prospect that UK politicians might finally ‘get it’. Once one Party starts doing it properly and reaping the dividends, then the rest will follow suit. Very exciting and I’ve no doubt that Mark Pack, the mad scientist who looks after all things web at Lib Dem HQ has his fingerprints all over this!
One odd thing is that it seems Steve Webb, Lib Dem spokesperson on the Environment, one of the only politicians to use Facebook properly, wasn’t involved as he’s one of the few that understands this is all about reaching voters on their terms and using their language, not whizzy technology.
I recently filmed a very revealing interview with Steve Webb btw.