When it comes to restoring enthusiasm for American history, David Bruce Smith’s Grateful American™ Foundation likes to shine a spotlight on the people and organizations that are the best teachers of the topic.
So it’s a great pleasure to interview Professor Richard Semiatin (pictured right), academic director of American politics at American University, who is part of its Washington Semester Program.
In addition to having spent decades studying politicians and elections, he is the author of “Campaigns in the 21st Century” (McGraw-Hill, 2004), and editor of all three editions of “Campaigns on the Cutting Edge” (CQ Press: 2008, 2012, and 2016). The third edition, available here, was released in February.
In the book, Semiatin explains that the evolution of the modern political campaign has taken us from television sets in the living room to wireless new media in the hands of voters.
“Reaching voters with targeted messages, candidates increasingly rely on consumer-driven techniques,” he writes. “What works at the national level can be tailored to work even more effectively at the individual level. Future campaigns will continue to make use of recent innovations like meetups, blogs, and Internet polling.
“Newer tactics such as fundraising on the web and get-out-the-vote drives with microtargeting via mobile devices are changing the way candidates advertise, ask for money, interact with the media, coordinate with their party organizations, and make the most of interest group support.”
What, then, are the implications for the democratic process and governance? And who does Semiatin think will be our next president?
Scroll down to learn about that, and more. — David Bruce Smith, founder, and Hope Katz Gibbs, executive producer, Grateful American™ Foundation