Barack Obama has so revolutionized politics that he may not even need the Democratic party, writes David Carr in the New York Times. Parties are supposed to provide a base of support, a brand, ground troops, money, and relationships—all things Obama already has in abundance. The president-elect ran his campaign like a Silicon Valley startup, turning a pile of social networking technologies into the nation’s best political machine.
Now Obama takes office with an arsenal of communication tools far cheaper and more powerful than Karl Rove’s voter lists and phone banks. “It’s clear there has been a dramatic shift,” said one expert on politics and technology. “Any politician who fails to recognize that we are in a post-party era with a new political ecology in which connecting like minds and forming a movement is so much easier will not be around long.”