Newsom's Tweets Pay Off

Mayor looks to Internet to fuel governor run

By Sajid Farooq
|  Thursday, Dec 17, 2009  |  Updated 12:07 PM PDT
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Newsom Saves Face with Facebook

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom may have to thank his twittering fingers for helping him raise $20,000 on day one of his governor run.

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Newsom Tweets for Governor

Californians your governor of the future may be here in more ways than you imagine. Mayor Gavin Newsom turned to social media to announce his run at the state's highest position.
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So that's why Mayor Gavin Newsom spends so much time on the Twitters. The San Francisco mayor made it officially known on Tuesday that he is trying to be President Barack Obama lite in his bid to become president of California.

Instead of taking a traditional approach to confirm one of the worst kept secrets in the state, Newsom tweeted to his 285,278 digital friends that he was running for governor

"It's official- running for Gov of CA," he tweeted Tuesday morning. "Wanted you to be the first to know. Need your help."

In using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to make his announcement, Newsom ripped a page right out of Mr. Obama's fundraising playbook. The digital mayor wanted his army of followers to retweet his announcement for one reason: to raise $20,000 on day one of his campaign.

"Help us raise $20,000 online today," he tweeted just two hours after his official announcement on Tuesday. "Need your support if we are going to change CA. Please ReTweet."

During his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama showed the world that politics had changed in this country. It had entered a digital age, where young people could be the driving force behind an election.

In February 2008, a critical month in the presidential campaign, Obama was able to raise a record $55 million, with $45 million of it coming straight from the Internet.

"The way that Gavin Newsom announced will become standard practice in the post-Obama era of politics," Simon Rosenberg, who heads New Democrat Network, which studies Democratic policy issues, told our friends at the San Francisco Chronicle. "We're seeing a reinventing of politics ... and in a state as wired as California, and a campaign as expensive as this one will be, the candidates who can figure out how to tap into the power and passion of their supporters will have an advantage."

Gavin Newsom Runs for Governor

Want to guess where the core of Obama's Inthernet money came from? Young people organized by thinkers from the Silicon Valley. On Tuesday, Newsom easily reached the $20,000 mark employing Obama's tactics.

"We can't afford to keep returning to the same old tired ideas and expect a different result," he said in his announcement video.

It only makes sense that Newsom, 41, who is expected to be running against much older competition-possibly including Attorney General Jerry Brown, 71, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 75,  Antonio Villaraigosa, 56- would reach out to a younger audience by taking the campaign directly to them.

And if tweeting his annoucement was not enough, the mayor's first act as governor hopeful: drive down to Palo Alto in his hybrid SUV and hold a press conference at Facebook's headquarters.

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