Behind the Scenes of Obamas Reddit-AMA and 100 duck-sized Horses

Spannendes Posting auf (ausgerechnet!) Buzzfeed, ein Behind-The-Scenes von Barack Obamas digitaler Kampagne und seinem Reddit-AMA:

Within 24 hours, 5.2 million people had read the Reddit interview. It was the most-trafficked post in Reddit’s history. Just before signing off, Obama mentioned, the campaign’s official voter registration site, and 30,000 people registered to vote from that link. “And he didn’t even hyperlink the fucking thing, so they, like, actually copy-and-pasted it, and opened up a new tab, and put it in,” said a senior official.


The next night, Clint Eastwood opened up for Mitt Romney at the RNC. He talked to an empty chair. Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean ran into Jim Messina’s office: You’ve got to see this. Stop. What. You. Are. Doing. Two other Obama digital staffers—Jessi Langsen and Alex Wall—who were watching the feed came up to Goff and Joe Rospars within minutes. Another staffer had found a picture of the president pointing at a chair and asked, “Can we post this picture of the president?” Others were a little hesitant.

“I don’t know, guys. That feels a bit like we’re saying ‘fuck you,’ ” said one official. . . . “Clint Eastwood is superpopular.”

But then Langsen and Wall found a way of doing it that was like “Hey, fuck you” but not quite as blatant and with a little more style. Langsen came up with the caption: “This seat’s taken.” It became the most retweeted political missive to date, and a way to answer Eastwood without seeming “unpresidential.”

Und die wahrscheinlich wichtigste Frage aller Zeiten, die wohl leider unbeantwortet bleibt: „Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?“

Back in Chicago, the staff were examining the Reddit transcript. There was one question everyone on the team wished Obama had answered. Goff probably would have selected it, according to his colleagues, but he didn’t see it at the time. Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?

In the days following, staffers debated the answer. Most immediately chose the 100 duck-sized horses— they would be easy to stomp on and were, generally, a reflection of the usual day-to-day conflicts in life. A danger to the shins, but possibly manageable. “Ducks are not exactly teeny-tiny—so 100 duck-sized horses (as opposed to duckling-sized horses), while smaller than a miniature pony, are still probably clocking in somewhere around ten pounds each,” one Obama official argued. “That’s a lot to kick/throw/battle.”

Who would choose to fight a duck the size of a horse? The beak. The wingspan. The ability to defend and attack in the air, on land, and in the water. “Also, lacking a weapon of some kind, how exactly do you defeat it? Wrestling it to the ground seems unlikely. Can you break its legs? Snap a wing?” the official continued. “Yet, it’s just one opponent—you can focus all your energy, attention, and strength on outsmarting it. Maybe it tires easily. Hard to know.”

How Obama Won The Internet