It was an unprecedented victory. Barack Obama took on two powerful political brands—Clinton and McCain—to win the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. Obama’s victory was unprecedented in more than one way, including its use of technology.
For the first time ever, a majority of the adult population relied on online sources for information about candidates and policies. For the first time, a candidate chose not to participate in the public financing system for presidential campaigns—a system that would have granted Obama over $84 million in guaranteed funding but would have limited his ability to raise private donations. Instead, Obama relied on the distribution and fundraising power of new digital tools. His campaign even got an early endorsement from Marc Andreessen, perhaps the most influential venture capital investor in the world at the time.