08 June 2007

From FishWrap

Fred knows the Internet? Fred knows the Internet!

Fred Thompson may already be making a case for himself as the transformative Republican candidate who, like so many Democrats do already, can use the Internet as a potent fundraising tool.
Patrick Ruffini reports that Thompson's "testing-the-waters" Web site, "I'm With Fred" raised $220,000 in the first 18 hours since going live.
It also averaged close to 1,500 people per hour signing up as friends.
As I've previously reported, Republicans have consistently struggled to keep pace with the Democrats in their online fundraising prowess.
Part of that reason is that social conservatives play a commanding role in the Republican base, while maintaining a less significant online presence.
Meanwhile, conservative libertarian bloggers carry a more measurable weight in the political blogosphere, but represent a smaller fraction of the actual Republican base.
Could Fred Thompson be the candidate to bridge that financial and ideological gap? He's making online outreach a cornerstone of his emerging campaign.
Right now, the Web site is virtually devoid of content and is strictly a measure of his immediate appeal. So $220,000 raised in less than 24 hours is certainly reason to feel good if you're a Thompson booster.
-- Eric Pfeiffer, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington

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