Government

Big Data makes for meaner politics

18th Jan `14, 05:18 AM in Government

What do you get when you combine modern technology with old-style politics? Hillary’s wrath, that’s what. News that…

BDMS
Guest Contributor
 

What do you get when you combine modern technology with old-style politics? Hillary’s wrath, that’s what.

News that top aides to Hillary Clinton used a computer spreadsheet to compile a “hit list” of disloyal Democrats after her devastating loss to Barack Obama in the party’s 2008 presidential primaries is more proof that what used to be an art is turning into a science.

Politicians have always rewarded friends and punished enemies, as the spiteful Bridgegate scandal engulfing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie now reminds us. But evaluating loyalty and disloyalty used to be an entirely subjective exercise that required endless mental acrobatics and was rendered fallible by lapses in memory, blurred emotions and information overload.

The era of Big Data is changing all that. And none too soon for the Clintons, as Hillary keeps her options open for 2016. When you’ve crossed and been crossed by so many people in 35 years of bare-knuckle politics, it’s naturally hard to keep track of all the slights. What better than a computer scorecard that replaces the old mental tally of friends and enemies?

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