Stephen Colbert, Obama iPhone App, and Other Election Variables

On the afternoon before the VP debate, I find my attention occupied by the election. Here are a few things on my mind:

Last night on The Colbert Report, they did a wonderful thing. After a humorous commercial about “Voter Abstinence,” they scrolled through all 50 states and the deadlines for voter registration. I have not seen a news show even mention that this year! Between Colbert and The Daily Show, every night these supposed comedy shows do more to serve the public than many other news shows.

In a previous blog entry I asked: would Obama or McCain be the first to launch an iPhone application? Continuing his tech streak, Obama has launched an iPhone app. Besides having relevant data about where the Obama-Biden campaign stands on the issues and contact information for your local campaign HQ, it features functions to facilitate community events with other Obama supporters.

Lastly, it is amazing to see the role YouTube has had in this election. Between campaign speeches, debate responses, and the Palin interviews, the popular video site is creating a new level of election discussion in the public. More than once this week some colleagues and I were huddled around a computer. This level of dialogue, coupled with the record number of new voter registrations, makes me feel like this presidential election will be more successful in engaging America’s citizenry than the last few were.

We really won’t know until November whether Stewart et al, Obama’s iPhone app, YouTube’s political discourse or even Digg’s election channel will make a difference on who is elected. In the mean time, I am going to finish prepping myself for the VP debate.