Thursday, August 23, 2007

Noriega, Watts, Cornyn website comparison...

So there really a lot that you can tell from a candidate from their website. Just by how it's maintained, how it's designed, you can see what's really important to the candidate. I.E. When, on the day of the primary, Joe Lieberman claimed his website was hacked by bloggers. (more from kos). Of course, after the investigation, the State Attorney General's office, and even supposedly the FBI found no involvement from outside sources.

Even Republican Mark Kennedy's website claimed to have had a "security breach," although their contribution page was still up and running. From ConnecticutBob , "The best part is, if you click on the link to Kennedy's website above and quickly hit the Stop button, it catches it before it redirects from the original webpage. I captured the code below, and there is an obvious line edited into it from their web designer, which says this: '...remove refresh when kennedy wants to get site back'!"

So let's take a look at the three frontrunners for the Texas 08 Senate election, starting with John Cornyn ( There's a great picture of Cornyn and Bush schmoozing it up. In fact, he'll be supporting the Bush "the troop surge is working, even though I'm going to compare Iraq to Vietnam" rhetoric... See it this Sunday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Next to Mikal Watts' website at ( Fairly well designed, nice colors, but the bulk of the website is Mike's video talking about... himself. He really likes noting that he graduated school early.

More from Stuart Rothenberg:

The first half of the four-minute, 15 second video is straightforward enough. Watts introduces himself and talks about his education, his parents, his own family and his interest in public service. He's a trial lawyer, so it's not surprising that he's poised, articulate and polished.

The second half of the video probably is the silliest, most transparent attempt to deliver a message I have ever seen.

Watts wants us to know that he is a "fighter" and a "leader," and he apparently thinks that viewers of his video are a little dense. You'd either have to be in a coma or not understand English to miss Watts' message. The Democratic hopeful uses a form of the word "fight" 11 times in the last two minutes and 15 seconds of the video. And he uses a form of the word "leader" another eight times during that same period.

In one section of the video lasting 37 seconds, Watts uses the word "fighter" six times -- an average of once every 6.17 seconds:

"I have been a fighter my entire career, fighting for the rights of average, working families here in Texas. And I have proven that I will stay in that fight and give it my all until we win. Texans are looking for a Senator who is a leader, who will fight for them. Someone who will fight for families here in Texas rather than special interests there in Washington. I am certain that as we travel around the state and see more and more good Texans, that my message of real leadership and real change in Washington is a message that is going to hit home here in Texas. I am confident that Texans will join me in this fight."

There are plenty of attributes that voters want in their candidates. They certainly want leaders and, at least now, forces for change. I certainly wouldn't criticize Watts or any candidate for mentioning them. It's the way he talks about them that is so aggravating. It sounds as if he thinks he's the first guy to run on those buzzwords.

Now to Rick's website. ( It isn't quite as polished as the other two, but it has a message. It shows Rick serving our country in Afghanistan, and being sworn in for his 5th term while on active duty outside Kabul. "I wanted my 'family' here in Afghanistan to swear me in," said Noriega. Shortly afterward, he emailed his docunments to Austin, where his wife was able to serve in his absence.

His website shows his dedication to us, his future constitutents, and shows that through his history of service for us in Houston, for Hurricane Katrina, and as he served in Afghanistan. Rick truly is a regular guy, and his website truly reflects that!

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