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MySpace: A place for candidates

The Republican party may have more candidates, but as a whole, they attract far less MySpace friends than the Democrats.
/ Source: contributors

The Republican Party may have more candidates, but as a whole, they attract far less MySpace friends than the Democrats. Democrats also have more social networking affiliations and 100 percent MySpace saturation.

Overall MySpace comprehension, as well as the ability to build a MySpace profile that doesn’t totally suck, still varies from candidate to candidate, no matter which party he or she represents.

Part II: The Republicans

"The Official Sam Brownback Myspace"
Age: 50
Star sign: Virgo
Friend count: 8,674
Comments: 533

Best comment: “Go!”—I Love Rubber Duckies (who leaves it open for interpretation.)

Interests: Loads, and Christian-themed.

Other social network memberships:

Even with DSL, this clunky, graphic-intensive profile takes a minute to fully load. The connection-offending factors include (presumptuous?) White House wallpaper and thumbnail images to help voters navigate a section titled “Brownback on the Issues.“ Examples: include “Immigration” (waving flag), “Taxes” ($20 bills), “Gun rights” (guns), “Life” (baby). Sam's profiles theme song (“Carry on My Wayward Son” by Kansas) does not load automatically, a thoughtful option for voters viewing from work.

Ree: Please note that, along with more superfluous thumbnails, Sam includes at least one Christian-themed item in each of his “interests.” Movies: “Passion of the Christ.” TV: “Touched by an Angel.” Books: "the Bible." Heroes: “Mother Teresa.” I find this somewhat antithetical to the blatant Mitt Romney bashing in his “press release” section. Though props to Sam for being the first candidate to throw down on MySpace.

Helen: I appreciate Sam taking the time to tell us personally who he’d like to meet (us!), but that “Unfortunately, due to the high volume of emails I receive, I am typically unable to respond to your MySpace emails.” And yet he understands that we, the voters, are busy too – and provides user-friendly picture icons which eliminate the need to actually click through and read where he stands on the issues. Take the “Marriage” image of a (dude) groom kissing a (chick) bride – a picture says a thousand words!


"The official MySpace page of Jim Gilmore"
Age: 57
Star sign: Libra
Friend count: 1710
Comments: 109


Interests: Not a one.

Other social network memberships:

Jim’s free MySpace page (“Paid for by Gilmore for President Exploratory Committee”) is your basic candidate red, white and blue on an open source template courtesy of Mike Industries. While it doesn’t offer much personal info or even campaign videos, Jim’s profile does offer something the other candidate pages don’t: A chance to win a Nintendo Wii game console if we meet a MyGilmore fundraising goal!

Helen: Libra? Proud parent? That’s it? This is MySpace Jim! Open up a little. And while I usually give props for a first-person blog, in this case the unidentified blogger isn’t even pretending to be Jim. “I thought you would like to know that former Virginia Governor and GOP presidential candidate Jim Gilmore will be announcing a National Property Rights Initiative …” Who?! Who thought I would like to know?!

Ree: Who cares?! There’s a chance to win a Nintendo Wii! As serial political commenter Biff Bifftofpherson posted, “Kids love the Nintendo!” Sure, Jim’s pandering to the 12-year-old vote, but maybe he’s just forward-thinking. Got to lock in for that 2016 election.


Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Republican presidential hopeful, holds a news conference at the Nasdaq stock market Wednesday, March 28, 2007, in New York. Giuliani received the endorsement of Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes, Inc., Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)Mark Lennihan / AP

Apparently, this candidate couldn’t be bothered to set up a MySpace profile, as we were unable to find one at the time of this report. But even if Rudy thinks he’s too good for the medium of the people, the people don’t think he’s too good for them. They seem to be fooled by the myriad fake Giuliani profiles posted on MySpace.

Helen: Wow, it takes some nerve to say the hell with the social networking vote. Maybe Rudy’s planning on riding that anti-ferret legislation all the way to the White House, MySpacers be damned! At least the fake sites are trying to drum up some Rudy support in his absence. Given his mayoral positions on both graffiti and cabarets, I wonder if Rudy would have gone with a crying eagle graphic and techno music.

Ree: Personally I’m shocked by how many netizens are falling for the MySpace page imposters. The most popular faux-Rudy profile is headlined, “I caught Ebola!” and still Rudy supporters are leaving their cheers in the comments section thinking it’s his site. On the plus side, voters aren’t really deterred by the Ebola virus. Good to know.


“Don’t Stop Believin’!”
Age: 51
Star sign: Virgo
Friend count: 2260
Comments: 594

Best comment: “You are a big inspiration to me. Not only as a conservative, but someone who also lost 100 pounds!” --The Nancy Pelosi Watch Dog Group!

Interests: Myriad physical pursuits (to support his massive weight loss, no doubt), musical tastes, classic movies, “The Sopranos” and news channels for TV and heroes Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Superman. (Though it’s not clear whether he knows one of those characters isn’t real).

Other social network memberships:

White text boxes on a repeating stars and strips background in blinding primary colors, center-justified text, a complete lack of negative space, and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” (which loads with the page), earns this MySpace candidate profile the dubious title of “Most Likely to Induce Constituent Seizures.”

Helen: In the brief time we’ve been reviewing candidate MySpace profiles, Mike changed his headline from the pithy “Welcome to Mike's Space on MySpace!" to the “Sopranos” finale-inspired “Don’t Stop Believin’”, adding the Journey song to his profile player for emphasis. Never mind that he’s referencing a TV show about a pathological narcissist sociopath murderer or that it’s already been done by the Clinton campaignor that Mike is from Arkansas, not New Jersey. This cloying pop culture ploy only serves to conjure long-held expectations met with bitter disappointment – not something that generally inspires voters.

Ree: Frankly, Mike could have done a lot more to inspire a country of bloated, lethargic voters with his impressive weight loss story. While he is one of the few candidates in any party to fill out “body type” (slim/slender) and has “health/exercise” in his interests, why not include an “after” photo of skinny Mike in his old fat pants, pulling out the enormous waistband to one side? Why don’t his friends include Jared the Subway Guy or even Carney Wilson? And without an “I lost 100lbs! Ask me how,” link, he’s missing out on millions in voter donations.


"Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong. - Ronald Reagan"
Age: 59
Star sign: Gemini
Friend count: 5,645
Comments: 814

Best comment: “The only I have to donate is my vote and it's all yours! (thus far) ;)” – jazzed on java

Interests: His nine MySpace videos.

Other social network memberships:

This tidy profile on white default template seems more of a Ronald Reagan fansite than an active profile for a current presidential candidate. Note the headline quote, as well as the main profile photo of a presidential-era Reagan shaking hands with a (much) younger Duncan Hunter.

Helen: Kudos to Duncan for making the Duncan Hunter fansites his top MySpace friends, but I fear he may have abused the social networking rule of using an older, more attractive profile photo. Stick to the current millennium!. Also, his third-person “About me” bio and “About My Candidacy” links read like an e-commerce disclosure statement. Where’s the “I Agree” button you have to click before you can vote for this guy?

Ree:Also note that his sole blog entry regards his policy on MySpace friends requests: “In order to maintain the integrity of the Duncan Hunter 2008 page, we are unable to approve your friend request if the content of your page is vulgar, offensive or otherwise inappropriate.” And yet “Poopersdad,” some tattooed, shirtless guy in crucifixion pose who lives in “Illegal immigrant capital” apparently passed the Duncan Hunter Campaign’s rigorous appropriateness test.


“We will bring him to justice, and I will follow him to the gates of hell.”  (Okay, not really. Just a suggestion, as John’s neglected to include a headline.)
Age: 70
Star sign: Virgo
Friend count: 36,826
Comments: 2,775

Best comment: “Wazz up John McCain” -- Cory

Interests: John has many interesting interests, including his favorite movie, “Viva Zapata” and TV show, “24.”

Other social network memberships:

Monochromatic flag stars fade to solid gunmetal gray for a profile so ominous you can practically hear Vincent D'Onofrio’s Private Pyle hiss, “Seven-six-two millimeter. Full. Metal. Jacket.” Apparently, Sen. McCain was in the military.

Helen: John’s smiling senior portrait-quality photo must offset the general hairy creeps exuding from this profile  -- he’s got more friends than any other Republican. Or maybe people are afraid not to be his friend. No theme song, but might I suggest “Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)”

Ree: I feel like I should salute this page. It screams military. Tidiest profile yet, but you’d expect that. Those military guys can roll their socks into a ball smaller than a quarter and, evidently, they’re just as hardcore with their MySpace profiles. I’m also diggin’ his nautical star logo. Memo to all you retro-tatt hipsters: You’re now McCain supporters. And move over Obama, McCain’s got his own social network too!


"Hope for America"
Age: 71
Star sign: Leo
Friend count: 30,950
Comments: 5,945

Best Comment: YAY, MR PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!! you're online. thats awesome. –Chris-O (Though it would be Dr. President in Ron’s case.)

Interests: The good doctor has no interests.

Other social network memberships:

A clean white template with gray text boxes, this profile is easy to read and fairly simple navigate. This Internet superstar is well-connected within the various social networks, and you can even buy Ron Paul merchandise from the candidates Café Press store (thongs, however, are not available.) Dr. Paul’s MySpace player rocks songs about Dr. Paul written by one of his top friends, Steve Dore.

Helen: Not a bad profile, though Ron would do well to replace his profile photo with something that doesn’t resemble Madame Tussaud's Dr. Ron Paul. Further, posting the video from his “Daily Show” appearance anywhere but the very top of the page is really dropping the ball because Dr. Ron, no matter how big your fanbase, it doesn’t touch John Stewarts

Ree: Another giant MySpace mistake: Where are his interests? Pop culture matters. As MySpace voters we desperately want, nay, need to know these things. The custom-written song does set him apart, especially the way. Steve Dore’s “Critical to be Political” sings not only the praises of Ron, but of the whole social networking scene. Nice.


"The Official MySpace Page of Governor Mitt Romney"
Age: 60
Star sign: Pisces
Friend count: 24745
Comments: 3061

Best comment: “i wonder if ur elected if they'll let u take bodyguards to church lol.” – Josh [Summer Time!]

Interests: Lists a variety of country and folk music interests, as well as a cross section of books such as “Huckleberry Finn”: and “The Business Of Winning.” No movies or TV.

Other social network memberships:

The blocky design on this free MySpace profile (Paid for by Romney for President Inc.) is an amateurish mish-mash of blue, red, gray and gold that just gets messier the further you scroll down. Active bloggers include Mitt and his sons. Mitt sets himself apart from stodgier opponents by including Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less” (DJ remix) as his profile jam.

Helen: I like how Mitt’s first video welcomes voters to his MySpace profile and …OMG! The blinking icon says Mitt’s “Online Now!” Is it Mitt! Or is it one of his many sons – who, incidentally, are all featured as Mitt’s top friends. And somehow, despite the design disaster, Mitt’s profile still manages to project Mitt as a homey, outdoorsy, charming, family guy. Who doesn’t go to the movies or watch TV.

Ree: I can tell from his friend list that the Mitt Romney cloning experiment was a huge success. His kids look way too much like him for me to view this profile objectively. I’m just going to call them “Clones 1-3,” “Beard variant” and “Oops.” I’m serious. In fact, I doubt his wife’s DNA factored in at all.


"Official MySpace of Congressman Tom Tancredo"
Age: 61
Star sign: Sagittarius
Friend count: 2,476
Comments: 478
Best comment: “tom 4 prez!!!!!!!!!1” -- John litshitski 

Interests: Lots.

Other social network memberships:

This nondescript profile on default template offers little to interest the eye other than a scrolling appearance calendar, a couple of videos and a link to Tom’s blog on another site. On the plus side, Tom diligently offers his many interests which include “politics, hunting, playing with my 5 grandchildren, riding my Harley.” (click on ‘’pics” to see a photo of Tom doing the last item). His “About me” section is another plus, written first person in three well-contained paragraphs.

Helen: I like how this guy doesn’t abuse the “About me” section, though visually there just isn’t much that makes me want to stick around. His movie interests are the most interesting thing here — a cross-section of military thrillers (both “Bourne” movies), old school westerns (“Rio Bravo,” “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” and middle-brow comedies (“Trains, Planes & Automobiles,” National Lampoon’s “Vacation” movies), and Sherlock Holmes!

Ree: Voters, please take special note that it is in fact the film version of the world’s greatest detective that Tom prefers – the anachronistic, Basil Rathbone, Nazi-fighting Holmes, the one who makes those long speeches about a cold wind blowing from the east. The creepy, smack-junkie, literary-hero Holmes would never vote Republican.


[Couldn’t be bothered to enter a MySpace headline.]
Age: 64
Star sign: Leo
Friend count: 600 (Including Default Tom!)
Comments: 50

Best comment: “Mr. Thompson is the man!” -- Jimbo

Interests: None at all.

Other social network memberships:
None(He’s not even trying.)

Granted, this barebones profile is fairly new, but the most interesting thing going on here is the banner link to Fred’s main site “I’m With Fred.” Good thing “Fred” is such an excellent name. Hopefully we can look forward to a beefier profile as the race progresses. And better friends. Fred’s current MySpace friends are flat-out boring.

Ree: What’s with the weird floating head portrait? Not to mention freakish tan — which is either indicative of a lifetime inhabiting the surface of the sun or is simply a fine patina of cigar-derived nicotine. Either way, ew. And that friend count is embarrassing for a candidate, let alone an actor on one of the longest running crime show franchises ever. .

Helen: Frankly, I’m somewhat disappointed with the fact that his “Law & Order” counterpart, DA Arthur Branch, writes in his MySpace blog more than Fred does. What’s more, adding Sam McCoy to his friends would boost his cred. Fred should play up his his strong points, too. At a monstrous 6’5”, he’s well equipped to deal with any Godzilla invasions that our country may face.


Age: 65
Star sign: [Apparently above such nonsense.]
Friend count: 5,058
Comments: 352

Best comments: “if you put me on your top 8 i'll try to get as many as possible to vote for you. i [heart] your name.” — omg! it piff!

Interests: He’s very interested in his YouTube videos.

Other social network memberships:

Possibly the sloppiest page from the Republican Party, this profile features the standard flag template and text and video boxes blown out across the page and no negative space to give the eyes a rest from his faded glory. Tommy’s blog is limited to third party entries and media quotes, and he’s including no information about his “interests.”

Helen: Ugh. What a mess. The only way to save this profile would be to throw in some dancing hamsters or maybe a couple of twirling Jesuses. Or a photo of Tommy in a cheese hat. He’s from Wisconsin, he should be wearing a cheese hat. People love cheese hats!

Ree: You’re right, no cheese hat portraits. Instead, Tommy’s pictures are full of shots from the same day, at the same speech, in front of the same podium: “This is what I look like making a hand gesture,” “Here’s me using the other hand,” and “Look, I’m sucking in my gut in this one.” Yawn. Nice blue suit, though.