I threw up a little bit in my mouth this morning while reading the press release titled 2008 Republican National Convention Names Official Innovation Provider.

Embracing technology that will propel the 2008 Republican National Convention to the forefront of the digital age, the GOP today announced that Google Inc. will serve as the Republican National Convention's Official Innovation Provider. Convention President and Chief Executive Officer Maria Cino made the announcement in a unique video posted to the convention's new YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/gopconvention2008). The video is also showcased on the convention's website (www.GOPConvention2008.com), and highlights Google's cutting-edge, computer-generated SketchUp graphics of the Xcel Energy Center, where the convention will be held.

I didn't know that the Republican campaign was so hard up for innovation that they needed to get it from Corporate America, but okay...

As Official Innovation Provider, Google Inc. will enhance the GOP's online presence with new applications, search tools, and interactive video. In addition, Google will help generate buzz and excitement in advance of the convention through its proven online marketing techniques.

On-line marketing (AdWords and AdSense, presumably) generating excitement. Yeah. Sure. I get excited by ads all the time, don't you? Especially Republican ads!

The convention's official website, www.GOPConvention2008.com, will eventually feature a full-range of Google products, including Google Apps, Google Maps, SketchUp, and customized search tools, which will make navigating the site easier. The convention's YouTube channel will enable visitors to upload, view, and share online videos. These innovative technologies will also help the GOP streamline convention organization and expand its online reach across websites, mobile devices, blogs, and email.

So they've figured out how to embed stuff in their web site to make it easier and, presumably, make up for their inability to get together a web team that could design a site that's easy to navigate? Yeah, I'd brag about that too.

I was tempted to re-write the release without all the buzzwords and over-the-top language, but I have to hit the road soon for a long drive. I guess it pretty much speaks for itself.

I'm not sure who's paying who here, but the republicans sure are kissing some Google Ass. It kinda makes you wonder what the revenue share on this deal is, doesn't it?

Either way, a dumb thing like this is an excellent way to lose credibility in my mind. I'm surprised they didn't also announce HTML as their official markup language and HTTP as the site's preferred protocol.

[Apparently I'm not the only one. See also, GOP Names Google Its “Official Innovation Provider” from the Wall Street Journal.]

Posted by jzawodn at February 16, 2008 07:17 AM

Reader Comments
# Michael Fisher said:

While I, too, take exception to all of the "over-top language," I see this as a purely technical support issue by Google to bring highlights (and yes, marketing) of the Republican convention to the web. I prefer to get my news direct without the typical network and cable spin.

I would hope the Democrats do not see this 'partnership' as anything other than technical and seriously consider doing the same. I have been impressed during this campaign season with the number of candidate speeches, news clips, ads, etc. on YouTube. If this continues, it might even be possible to see a political candidate's campaign budget to drop. 100s of millions of dollars to run a campaign is ludicrous.

on February 16, 2008 08:06 AM
# Dave Winer said:

Pretty sure Google had to pay the Republicans for that "endorsement." It's more like a sponsorship.

on February 16, 2008 09:08 AM
# HeavyLight said:

It's certainly a new perspective on "You can make money without doing evil" (http://www.google.com/corporate/tenthings.html)

Feels kinda sleazy to me. Respect-1

on February 16, 2008 11:43 AM
# Ken said:

If I was Bill Gates (or Steve Ballmer), I would be pissed. The RNC should have named Microsoft as the Official Innovation Provider. Is the GOP Convention website hosted on Google Pages? Nope. Windows IIS baby! And I'll bet the RNC uses Microsoft Office instead of Google Apps, regardless of what the press release says. No PAC money for you!

on February 16, 2008 01:04 PM
# Kevin Burton said:

I wonder how Google employees feel about this.


Nearly 2/3rds of Google contributions go to Democrats.

Of the Republican contributions the vast majority is going to Ron Paul.

on February 17, 2008 12:33 PM
# Ryan said:

where's the news here? I read that as: "We're gonna use Google's free services for our campaign."

on February 18, 2008 10:02 AM
# Scott said:

I REAALY hope this started on the Replublican side and not the Google side.

And if so, that Google will offer the same services to the Democrats.

Then I'll feel better knowing Google isn't run by GOP famboys.

on February 18, 2008 10:22 PM
# said:

And if the Democrats had done it first, you'd be singing their praises. Liberal mudslinging at it's finest.

on February 20, 2008 10:44 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Uh, Anonymous dude...

Actually, no. It sounds equally stupid from either party.

on February 20, 2008 10:58 AM
# DavidM said:

So just what is the problem with the RNC using Google?

Just your assumed notion that RNC is evil?

Or maybe that government should do everything themselves? Since they do everything SO well: education, health care, transit, etc.

Why should they use one of the foremost industry leaders on web applications? Laugh.

on February 21, 2008 08:33 AM
# lantzilla said:

"Innovation Provider"

It seems to suggest that innovation is something that you can just "provide." Like, electricity or water. Weird.

"Information Provider" would have been less stupid.

on February 21, 2008 12:31 PM
# bloodnok said:

i was wondering about the number of ron paul for prez ads that were showing up in my gmail. have to agree with the throwing up a little bit ...

on February 21, 2008 07:07 PM
# Technology Slice said:

That is one shady deal. I'm not surprised you threw up.

on February 21, 2008 07:58 PM
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