That video was embedded on Mr. Cantor’s blog (http://republicanwhip.house.gov), which is one of the few member sites that allows for open comments and is not moderated beyond a profanity filter.
Mr. Lira, who last year was a staffer tasked with Mr. McCain’s e-campaign, said the Republicans have been especially successful soliciting ideas for economic stimulus via video.
Mr. McCain, 72 and mocked by Team Obama during the campaign for not using the computer or surfing the Web, did not embrace technology as his rival was capturing new voters.
“The ultimate lesson of the Obama campaign is you can never underestimate the value of having complete buy-in from the top. That makes all the difference,” Mr. Lira said.
Asked whether congressional Republicans would use text messaging, Mr. Lira hinted, “Stay tuned — we have some programs in development.”
Sen. James M. Inhofe has been uploading his congressional travels — including a recent visit to the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — to his new YouTube page (www.youtube.com/jiminhofepressoffice).
In his direct-to-the-camera clip, the Oklahoma Republican notes he is coming to supporters from “a very unlikely place” and details why he thinks the prison should remain open.
Such videos are attracting scant attention, however; the Inhofe video had about 700 views Monday.
Democratic strategist James Carville predicted right before Mr. Obama won that it would be “not just a lost election” for the Republicans, but “the lost generation.”
Several sources said the vice-presidential announcements — the Obama campaign using Twitter and text messaging while the McCain team used an Ohio rally for a traditional rollout — was the perfect example of the two different mind-sets when it came to technology that led to the generational and enthusiasm gap.
Mr. Steele, in an interview with The Times right after the election, said he observed Republican colleagues and teenagers alike checking their phones the night Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. was announced as the vice-presidential choice.
“I was sitting there thinking, ‘What have we come to, and how did we miss this?’ The reality for us is still standing still,” Mr. Steele said.
“I want to take a look at what Obama did and not imitate it but improve on it. We need to jump-start this bad boy,” he said Nov. 18, two months before winning the chairmanship.
David All, a “modern media” consultant and former aide to Capitol Hill Republicans, was encouraged by the enthusiasm at the tech summit, which he said was “a long time coming.”
He said the November election showed 18- to 29-year-olds are the “least Republican generation of all time” and noted, “Obama shored it up entirely for the Democrats.”