Fred Thompson's Web Wiz

By Bluey Posted in Comments (13) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

UPDATE: Shira Toeplitz at the Hotline has more details on Thompson's web team.

The launch of Fred Thompson's website last night was welcome news for his legions of online supporters. Now comes word that Jon Henke, the newest hire at New Media Strategies, will be working on Thompson's account for the firm. The Henke hire is a major coup for New Media Strategies, which wanted someone of Henke's stature to manage Thompson's online operation.

Henke has posted more details about the job on QandO, his blogging home before taking a job with the George Allen campaign last year. Henke was brought on board to clean up the mess created by the "macaca" incident. His work was praised by both liberals and conservatives, and despite Allen's defeat, Henke played a pivotal role to keep the race tight.

Earlier this year, Henke came to Washington to work for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) as his new-media director. It was a surprising move for the traditional McConnell, but it paid many dividends. With the exception of the immigration bill, McConnell has managed to keep Republicans united and beat back several Democrat bills. Henke deserves credit for keeping bloggers informed and alert.

Henke's new job puts him in the middle of Thompson's exciting campaign, which raised a remarkable $220,000 just 18 hours after the I'm With Fred website launched last night. (I'm told that site was designed by Mike Turk, the former online guru for Bush-Cheney '04 and the Republican National Committee.)

Thompson is just one of Henke's clients in his new job as online brand manger at New Media Strategies. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about the others shortly.

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Fred Thompson's Web Wiz 13 Comments (0 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

Best of luck to Jon, who did yeoman's work for the Minority Leader.

McConnell's loss, Thompson's gain. :)

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

There is zero content on Fred's site. Do you have to register to access it? There is nothing on there for someone to learn about Fred's positions before they sign up. I'd think there would have been some content on there for the launch.

To win the war on terror, we first have to win the war against spineless liberal appeasement at home.

As a silverback webslinger since '96 or so, I must say I'm quite underwhelmed with that "I'm With Fred" web site. As Common Cents points out above, there is little more than a begathon going on there, and precious little information about where the donations will go -- and more to the point, to whom they will go.

As a conditioned skeptic about Internet scams and cyber bait-and-switch schemes, I found it downright disturbing that the only way to donate at is by credit card -- NO postal address posted anywhere on that web site, including the "Contact" link.

Either Fred's "web wiz" isn't aware that MANY people are leery of using their credit cards for such transactions and would prefer to mail in a check, or that web phantom has reason to not want to be located in the physical world.

It was no confidence-builder, either, when I decided to frisk Godaddy's "whois" to see who is behind that domain and saw that it is registered anonymously, through Domains By Proxy. No accessible public DNS record for who owns that domain name. Why?

Outside the seemingly qualified rumor that is a legit web site and that donations submitted by credit card to that web site will actually go toward a Fred Thompson campaign, a review of the site itself left me feeling there is more to instill creepy suspicion than any real web wiz should ever build into a fundraising web site.

The reassuring photo of the gravitas-exuding Fred aside, who says that site has anything to do with Fred?

If it actually does, it's pretty lame about offering any assurances or verifications -- like a contact name and phone number for a real human being -- to allay the suspicions of an experienced webslinger curmudgeon such as meself.

It's an attractive enough and clean looking site, aye. But if it were a scam and a ruse, it'd do well to be built much like that one.

And he would certainly know.


PS: Yes, the name 'Jon Henke' is pretty much all you need. He's known to me, personally, as a man of good repute, Q And O is one of the Right's most respected weblogs and Jon's last gig was on Senate Minority Leader McConnell's staff. This is the true quill, in other words.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

Presuming Jon knows that for a fact and isn't simply going on some trusted associate's (possibly misguided) impressions, that would still leave MANY visitors to that web site with no way of knowing that particular insight, Moe -- that Jon Henke vouches that (and .net and .org) is a legitimate web presence for an entity that will generate funds for a Fred Thompson campaign.

I'm not out to impugn the veracity of anyone; only to suggest that, as a fundraiser web site, what is currently up at imparts more suspicions than assurances.

I'm adamantly WITH Fred for a run in ought-eight and would hope to see fundraising efforts for his campaign succeed. What I'm throwing out here is constructive criticism about that web site, not questioning anyone's word about anything.

As an experienced commercial web marketing consultant, I'm simply saying THAT web site, as it exists at present, has some serious credibility problems.

Credibility, security and trust are very difficult virtues to project on the web and that ImWithFred site misses by a mile. For those who won't see your assurances that Jon Henke vouches for that domain/site, the tacit or outspoken question: "who says that's Fred Thompson's web site?" will surely be a common one.

The site instills suspicion by its lack of transparency as to who are the people behind those curtains. Then, to go to the trouble to frisk a whois and discover the domain name is registered anonymously does nothing to allay any nagging suspicions.

Granted, I did finally find a snail mail address, near the bottom of the "privacy policy" page. It's a PO box in Nashville, TN for "Friends of Fred Thompson," which is better than nothing, but still, having to dig for it like that will trip a lot of red flags.

For now let's just presume someone has seen the public record to verify who are, by name, address and phone number, the "Friends of Fred Thompson" at PO Box 128349. Hell, I'm friendly toward Fred, too. Can ya spare a dime?

Hit my smoke -- yer cleared in hot.

Fred Thompson says its his website. He announced it on Hannity right after the Rep debate the other night.

To win the war on terror, we first have to win the war against spineless liberal appeasement at home.

I wanted to drop by and address some of the issues you all have raised. Even though we're going through some launch pains, we are still listening, even if we don't have time to reply quickly...

Specifically, I'd like to address Pterodactyl's concerns - I've always felt a healthy amount of skepticism is a good thing.

I can assure you the site is legitimate all day long. However, I'd rather let the man do the talking. Fred announced the site himself, Tuesday night, on Hannity and Colmes.

As for the site, we realize we have some kinks to work out. We wanted to get something in place so people who support Fred can sign up, and get involved.

Despite the fact that it has somewhat more than a splash page usually does (personalization so you don't have to enter the info over and over, viral tools for spreading the word), it is very much a placeholder until we can get the rest built.

We'll be rolling out much more in the coming days and coming weeks. You'll see the traditional pieces of an online campaign - an action center; a blog; video, audio, and text content; news and issues; biographical info - but we're planning to do a lot more.

Some of the things we're doing will be quite new. As one example, we're asking users to sign up for beta testing. Similar to the Google approach, if you sign up to beta test, we'll direct you to a separate site the allows you to see and use the new tools, and help us find any errors like the ones you've pointed out.

As for donations, we'll be adding, very quickly, an address where you can send a check if you're uncomfortable providing a credit card number. We're also looking at PayPal to see if we can use them as a contribution option.

As I said, even if I can't reply right away, we're watching these discussions very closely for exactly the type of feedback you've offered. I hope my answers allay some of your concerns, and I thank you for raising them.

I was just surprised there wasn't any of the functionality and content already on Fred's site before it went live. I figured he was working on the behind the scenes stuff before opening for business. Anyway, I hope Fred will prove to be the strong candidate people are predicting. Good luck!

To win the war on terror, we first have to win the war against spineless liberal appeasement at home.


I want to show my support around town for Fred and I have searched around the net for some Fred Gear, such as stickers and shirts. I have found several sites that offer these things but none have the logo that are on I was wondering if there is going to be a store link on so we know we are purchasing official Fred stuff?

There will be, but it's still too early for details, unfortunately.

Let's all thank George Allen for taking 10 million dollars and a nascent 2008 Presidential bid and flushing it down the toilet- causing us to lose the Senate in a Red state. Great job!! I was amazed at how poorly that campaign was run in every aspect- and since I live in the DC suburbs I saw it all.

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