Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
The creator of the Hillary 1984 ad has owned up, and I firmly believe that the back story proves correct the theory I blogged earlier: this was the creation of a web-savvy person working on their own, and only a response in kind will effectively combat its popularity and power. (See Hillary's response here.)
The Huffington Post did the digging, and got the creator ("ParkRidge47") to fess up in a blog post. His name is Phil de Vellis and he works (well, worked) for Blue State Digital, an internet consulting company with roots in the Dean campaign and a long track record of working for high profile candidates. Thing is, Blue State Digital now works for Obama. Was Hillary 1984 a premeditated and conventionally-conceived campaign ad? Nope -- de Vellis did the work on the weekend, with his own time, equipment, and creative direction. But surely he was doing the work for BSD in a nudge-nudge sort of way, right? Just because he did the work on his personal computer on a Sunday doesn't mean he wasn't working for the company, and indirectly, Obama. Well, de Vellis has resigned upon being outed, which makes a pretty solid case that he was acting on his own, and in a way that the company wouldn't approve of. The ad, after all, is not in the style of the high-minded campaign Obama is trying to run.
So the facts support my theory. This campaign ad was created by someone working on their own -- an insurgent if you will. If it had been created within the official framework of a presidential campaign, it would have been more careful, more respectful of convention and boundaries, and thus far less interesting.
And FYI - the ad in its various forms has now been viewed almost three millions times on YouTube.
Update: Howard Fineman of Newsweek sees this as part of the "New Uncontrollable Campaign." The old, controllable campaign was controlled by the candidates, their staffs, and prominent members of the major media. Wonder who that would include...