Monday, March 31, 2008

Share your views, pics of Clintons, Obama, etc. with Capital Press

President Bill Clinton visited California yesterday, and Oregon today as part of the campaign to elect Sen. Hillary Clinton to represent the Democrats in the presidential election. Clinton spoke in Medford, Ore. last night, and today’s visits include Portland, Salem and Bend.

It’s expected that Hillary Clinton will be through this area of the West in another week or two.

This follows within a couple of weeks of Barack Obama’s visit on March 21.

All these visits — by Democrats and Republicans — to Western states has that stirred people to feel like their vote might actually matter here. The last time presidential candidate came through here was a couple of decades ago, and since then usually election candidates are decided well before primary season hits Oregon.

It’s nice to see people feel like their opinions and votes actually count and that politicians care about them. There’s more than a political buzz in the air: People are being encouraged and influenced to participate, in everything from writing letters to the editor, to attending speeches, to working as volunteers for campaigns they support.

One of the differences from four years ago is the role the Internet is playing in all this. Whether it’s citizen journalists, bloggers, or even families e-mailing each other across the county or country, more people are participating in sharing their latest political news and views. In some ways, the traditional media can end up being ignored or irrelevant because people are turning to so many alternate sources to influence them. The sources might be word-of-mouth (or is that word-of-type?) from people they know, or it might be reading blogs of online political pundits.

At Capital Press newspaper and, we’re still considering what should be our role, especially with our website giving us new ways to not only communicate the news to a wider audience — and much faster — but also be able to encourage our audience to be more interactive and send information to us that we can post.

We invite people to send us their opinions, but also photos, video, etc. that we can post online of what they’re seeing, attending, thinking. If any of you have attended any of the speeches by some of these politicians on the road to the presidency, what was it like? Why did you go, and what did you get from the experience? Did it strengthen or change what you plan to do with your vote? Did you take any pictures you can send us?

To contact us, e-mail us, or send e-mail to me directly.

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