When the Obama campaign released its much-anticipated Dashboard platform last May, it was touted as a potentially revolutionary organizing tool that would connect supporters, and merge online activism with real-life grassroots campaigning.
It can also be used as a platform to launch whispering campaigns, as one user proved this week.
On Monday, a "team member" named Laurence De Palma, who lists his location as East Nashville, presented volunteers with some talking points to convince Southern Christian voters they shouldn't vote for a Mormon. The message was available under "Resources" and tagged "persuasion."
"I'm thinking that even though we don't LIKE campaigns to get nasty, we in the south (TN) come to EXPECT it," De Palma began. "What we also know is that we have a very 'rigid' view of Christianity, and apparently, Mormonism isn't anywhere in our views. This could easily win TN/SC/AL/GA, etc."
The post goes on to include brief, oversimplified summaries of Mormon doctrines, framed to clash with evangelical Christianity.
Obama's campaign condemned it (at least in public), and has removed the post, but the whole idea has already been set in motion.
According to Buzzfeed, in spite of the fact that the forum allows users to moderate each others posts and flag the ones they deem inappropriate, this one sat there for four days until Buzzfeed brought it to the campaign's attention. Only then was it removed.
Although both candidates have no control over what their supporters say and do, they do have control over how long a post sits on a campaign dashboard. Condemnation is also within their power.
Romney's camp condemned the action
"The news concerning the Obama Campaign's dashboard containing language based on sowing religious division is deeply disturbing. There is no place in politics for this, and it must be addressed and put to an end."If the liberals are so concerned about Mormon politicians, maybe they should run Harry Reid out of Vegas, and Sen Tom Udall out of New Mexico, and all the other Mormon Democrats.