Invitations to partisan partying

According to a news report from boston.com, “Chad Ellis hosted a presidential debate party last Friday, but he didn’t invite any of his friends. Instead he filled his home with strangers who found his party listed on Barack Obama’s website.”

“A lot of my friends aren’t as into politics as my wife and I, and we were very interested in the idea of meeting new people with strong views, even if they were different from our own,” said Ellis, a game designer from Brookline. “We ended up with 15 guests we’d never met before, and just had a really interesting party with them.” They had such a good time, in fact, that several of the guests will return for another party at Ellis’s home tonight to watch the vice presidential debate,” said the story. “Welcome to the 2008 debate season, Internet-style. This election cycle, the candidates have harvested the social-networking power of the Internet to create a new type of political gathering: the Debate Watch Party. Having friends over to yell at the television during a debate is nothing new, but both Obama and John McCain are using their websites to encourage supporters not just to host parties, but to open their homes to other supporters in the area. For tonight’s much anticipated debate between vice presidential candidates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, McCain’s website lists eight parties within 100 miles of Boston, while Obama supporters have posted 17 parties within 50 miles of the Hub. For last Friday’s debate, Obama’s website listed 86 open parties within 50 miles of Boston, while McCain’s listed 37 parties within 100 miles.”

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