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Obama Fever Is Breaking On the Web
Adds Peter Leyden, director of the liberal think tank New Politics Institute and the former managing editor of the tech staple Wired magazine: "It's a backlash with a small 'b.' A 'baracklash.' One of the things you have to remember about Internet culture is, there's a smugness, a self-satisfaction about being ahead of the curve. But now that Obamamania has gotten to be so widespread online, folks are twisting and tweaking it."
Mathew Honan says his wife, Harper Honan, an avid cyclist, used to obsess about her mountain bike, a Santa Cruz Blur LT. But when the Honans returned from their vacation in Nicaragua shortly after Obama won the Iowa caucuses, Harper's obsession turned to Obama. Instead of talking about her bike, Harper talks about Obama. It's nonstop. She has made calls to the campaign. She has canvassed and knocked on doors. She has held signs out in the streets.
Then one day, Mathew, 35, a freelance writer, joked to Harper, 32, a registered nurse: "Barack Obama is your new bicycle."
A site was born.
After launching less than two weeks ago, the site has been viewed more than 2.3 million times.
"I didn't see it as a pro-Obama site or an anti-Obama site, though some people can interpret it any way they want. I was just trying to be funny," says Mathew, who's also an Obama supporter. The Honans have given about $300 to Obama online.
"But I actually think a little backlash is good for Obama," Mathew adds. "He's not going to win on personality alone. I think the more people shy away from the mania of it all, the more they'll realize that there's actual substance in him and what he's been saying."