The Mastermind of the Barack Obama ONLINE VOTING “MACHINE”
November 17, 2012

Harper Reed, the mastermind of the Barack Obama campaign’s massive online effort .

Who is this man?  To Barack Obama, he is the Second Coming.  Harper Reed put together a team of ragged, but brilliant internet junkies who built the Obama campaign’s astonishing online machine.

This week Politico, Time Magazine, The Kitchen Cabinet and now Atlantic Monthly, have been profiling the campaign and digging into the details of its unprecedented success.  If you understand or want to learn about the technical details behind the Obama campaign’s birth of a online GOTV, read the Atlantic piece.  If you just want to see these guys, and just

The underbelly of the Barack Obama campaign online effort: internet junkies.

scratch your head….do that too.  They had few boundaries, and waged an almost invisible attack on the Romney campaign and the GOP at large.  One that will change elections forever.

“…Harper Reed was the crazy guy you can see on his public Facebook photos. In one shot from 2006, a skinny Reed sits in a bathtub with a beer in his hand, two thick band tattoos running across his chest and shoulders. He is not wearing any clothes. The caption reads, “Stop staring, it’s not there i swear!” What makes Harper Reed different isn’t just that the photo exists, but that he kept it public during the election.

He may be like you, but he also juggles better than you, and is wilder than you, more fun than you, cooler than you.Yet if you’ve spent a lot of

Apparently Barack Obama knew the underground effort well enough to hug its spiritual leader, Harper Reed.

time around tech people, around Burning Man devotees, around startups, around San Francisco, around BBSs, around Reddit, Harper Reed probably makes sense to you. He’s a cool hacker. He gets profiled by Mother Jones even though he couldn’t talk with Tim Murphy, their reporter. He supports open source. He likes Japan. He says fuck a lot. He goes to hipster bars that serve vegan Mexican food, and where a quarter of the staff and clientele have mustaches.

He may be like you, but he also juggles better than you, and is wilder than you, more fun than you, cooler than you. He’s what a king of the nerds really looks like. Sure, he might grow a beard and put on a little potbelly, but he wouldn’t tuck in his t-shirt. He is not that kind of nerd. Instead, he’s got plugs in his ears and a shock of gloriously product-mussed hair and hipster glasses and he doesn’t own a long-sleeve

Obama Online Team.

dress shirt, in case you were wondering.

“Harper is an easy guy to underestimate because he looks funny. That might be part of his brand,” said Chris Sacca, a well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalist and major Obama bundler who brought a team of more than a dozen technologists out for an Obama campaign hack day.”

You’ll have to read the entire article to truly feel like you’ve rolled in the filthy backroom of these tech geniuses, and to understand how they see the world.

As talented as the Obama online team was, they also had an unfair advantage.  They had a database of the freshest, most precious information on almost every American, garnished secretly from Facebook and all of your Apple devices while you conducted Google searches and made purchases online.

Was that fair?  For now, it seems that it is. But government officials in Texas,

Mapping our streets? Or was Google also stealing your most private information from your in-home wireless router?

and as far away as Germany and Australia are after Google and Facebook, because they think it’s against the law.  If so, did it also compromise the most crucial election of our time?

We hope the Federal Trade Commission will investigate and answer that question for American voters.  Here’s just the tip of the iceberg from Reuters.





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