Thursday, January 25, 2007
Landing the perfect presidential Web address
Washington (CNN) -- Both Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, and Barack Obama, D-Illinois, used their Web sites to launch bids for the White House in 2008. While such campaign announcements are made with sophisticated web video and online savvy, the bells and whistles can overshadow what are often complicated struggles to obtain primo web addresses.
In 2005, lawyers for Hillary Clinton won back www.HillaryClinton.com after successfully proving the owner, a woman with an address in Italy, was using it in bad faith. That site is now a clearinghouse of video and information for Clinton's presidential bid. Last week, Sen. Barack Obama used www.BarackObama.com to announce the formation of his presidential exploratory committee. That site was rescued in 2005 on the Senator's behalf by a company specializing in the retrieval of web addresses that have expired.
Other 2008 hopefuls have decided not to put up a fight. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, officially launched his presidential bid today in front of a banner advertising his Web site, www.gohunter08.com. The most obvious choice, www.DuncanHunter.com, is unavailable, registered to a San Diego web publisher whose name is linked to dozens of web addresses featuring the names of actors, congressmen, and a senator. (Calls to the registrant, Lincoln Pickard, were not returned.) A spokesman for Hunter said that they have not tried to obtain that site, instead going with the "strongest ... of what was available."
The site bearing the name of Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, is registered to political Internet Strategist Henri Poole. Poole tells CNN he intends to use it "in opposing [Tancredo's] nomination." A spokesman for Tancredo, whose campaign site is actually www.TeamTancredo.com, said this is "not something we are concerned with," pointing out that "hate sites against [Tancredo] are a dime a dozen."
While some buy web sites to protest, others use them to turn a profit. Currently for sale on eBay is www.Hillary2008.org, which is being hawked by retired Arizona Judge Tom Jacobs, a self-described Clinton supporter. Jacobs, who says the site has "a fifty-fifty chance of falling into the wrong hands," is offering a starting bid of $10,000.
So far, no takers.
-- CNN Internet Reporter Abbi Tatton
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