While half of America has not heard of Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s VP pick, far fewer know the name Rob Zerban. Zerban is running as a Democratic challenger to Ryan for his Congressional seat in Wisconsin’s First Congressional district. And he is getting a lot of exposure on the internet, especially in his latest “AMA” on Reddit (AMA = Ask Me Anything).
Reddit is an online link-sharing platform whose participants are considered pretty liberal and relatively young. And while most political consultants and old guard politicians have probably never heard of it, the social media site has already shown its power when they helped start the massive internet opposition to SOPA and PIPA, which successfully stopped the passage of both internet regulation bills.
It is worth mentioning Rob Zerban’s participation for a number of reasons:
- Zerban is no passive challenger. He has a beautiful website, he boasts that he has raised more than 12x the money of any previous Ryan challenger, and he has very credible business credentials.
- Zerban “gets it.” While social media may not be the make-or-break quite yet, it is getting there. Representatives like Justin Amash and Jared Polis understand that the future of constituency service includes online communication and interaction. In short time, it may be difficult to win a race without it. Zerban proves he understands this.
- Paul Ryan’s run as vice-President will put a spotlight on the district and, as a result, Zerban will likely be able to raise money from a national base of Paul opponents.
And a video from the campaign: