Hey Matt, I read your post congratulating the Obama campaign and I agree wholeheartedly. However -- and I hesitate to say this for risk of sounding petty, but credit is in fact important in our world -- I want to point out that Brave New Films prompted the entire chain of events around the McCain houses gaffe that the DNC and the Obama campaign so effectively transformed into a clear win. Without our latest McCain video, the gaffe and its consequences never would have happened.
If you ask David Waldman or X or Y, they'll confirm this account, because they were involved as well. Every Tuesday, Robert and X and David and Y and I have a conference call together. Out of one of those calls came the idea for our "McCain's Mansions" video. For a couple of months, Brave New Films has been researching McCain's houses. X helped with some of that research. We culled sources for pictures, and even sent a producer to La Jolla to take pictures of his house there in person (she had to trespass to get them). We came up with six images, and put the video together. During this time, I believe David Axelrod made a passing reference to McCain's abundant houses, and there was one more instance of someone else raising the point, but there was no media story and no emergent line of attack opening up. We effectively launched our video into a vacuum.
On the day we launched we were covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Jake Tapper and others. We were all over the web, too; our video was the #2 most viral video the day after its release.
We also pursued Politico assiduously -- I talked to Ben Smith about the video on the phone, and one of my staffers had an email exchange about it with Michael Calderone. Two days later, Jonathan Martin asked McCain the question about his homes. That didn't come out of nowhere, that came out of our having put the message out there in the news cycle and our having conveyed it directly to Politico. The BBC did a story on us in which they explain how 'McCain's Mansions' led to the gaffe, and The New York Times also credited us in a follow-up article. Other than those stories, our participation has gone fairly
I'm not going to whine about that, as nice as it would be to have the recognition, because the point is that we were able to shift the dynamics of the message war in our favor, whoever gets the credit for it. But I do want to point it out to you because it matters that the whole episode began with the netroots -- literally, a call between Brave New Films, Daily Kos, X and Y. I think it matters that the blogosphere had been hollering for ages that Obama needed to go on the attack, and in the end, as much as the campaign and the DNC deserve credit for seizing the opportunity, it was in fact the netroots (or, as you would say, the Open Left) that wrote the script and created the opening. This fortuitous turn of events was not planned or created by DC consultants, and it would never have been (they had months to pull that trigger, and far greater resources to do it than we did).
Just wanted you to know.