The Lindsey Graham campaign website: A review

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·National Correspondent, Technology
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Graham announces his bid for the presidency in Central, S.C. (Photo: Rainier Ehrhardt/AP).

On Monday morning, the American public was introduced to yet another presidential hopeful: South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. On a modest stage in his hometown of Central, S.C., he declared his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, emphasizing the need for heightened security efforts in a world that is “exploding in terror and violence.”  

Graham is currently up against eight Republican competitors, with more expected to join the race soon. In fact, just last week, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum declared his intention to run with a catchy country song and a logo featuring a soaring bald eagle. Today, in the latest installment of RevURL, we examine Graham’s digital efforts to set himself apart from the pack.

Look and feel

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Despite the vast competition Graham faces in the Republican field, there’s nothing particularly original about his campaign’s website design. Like most others, he’s opted for a banner photo of himself grinning, next to a big, fat email sign-up form. Beneath that, we scroll down to his tagline, an awkwardly long string of words in a familiar sans-serif font that seems to have become the standard for expressing one’s presidential ambitions. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the whole presentation is the Hollywood-esque announcer’s voice featured in his declaration YouTube video. Good hire on that one.

Graham uses familiar tricks to break up the presentation of the site, spreading out his scant content with differently colored rectangular strips and circularly cropped images. It’s an effective template, easy to read and consume without much effort, even if he does annoyingly capitalize every word of each section’s headlines. There isn’t much more to the site than that, aside from an “About” page that features old-timey photos of Graham and gratuitous white space. It’s never good when it seems like the words are being stretched to meet the edges of the page.

Logo

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Graham’s campaign logo. (Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

I will first take the opportunity to say how sad I was to be on vacation during the premiere of Santorum’s logo, which is the first of them to include an animal! (A+ on that, Santorum, but if you really wanted to win over the Internet, it should’ve been a kitten.) Though it’s almost impossible to outdo a symbol that includes our nation’s majestic mascot, Graham’s logo is respectable and — most important — not gimmicky. The whole thing is very … geometrical, featuring blue and red triangles that make a rectangle. In the center of that spiffy little design is a white circle that says “16.” His last name sits below in stately Helvetica Neue, which fits his character quite nicely. My only qualm is the word “president” below his name. Expressing the need to specify what office you’re running for doesn’t say much about your confidence of success.

Also, the very weird, celestial animation of the logo in his YouTube video is reminiscent of a collectible-coin infomercial.

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Text

At times, the words of Graham’s website get pretty repetitive. It goes like this: He’s all about national security, he was raised in a “single room” behind a liquor store, and there’s something about our nation’s values. The “Issues” link in the upper right-hand corner of his website simply redirects to three paragraphs reiterating the need for better national security. The only thing that’s readily apparent in Graham’s views is that he is anti-“Radical Islamic Extremists.” Which is not an entirely controversial thing to be against.

In his tagline, Graham emphasizes that he is “Ready To Be Commander-in-Chief On Day One.” This is apparently his team’s effort to set him apart as a candidate who, as one of his tweets reads, can “secure America without needing job-training.”

Finally, there are parts of his website that just feel messy. Scroll down until you get to a blue band across the page, for instance, and you’ll see something that reads, “We deserve a President who’s #ReadyForCommand on Day One. That’s why I’m backing @LindseyGrahamSC. Join: http://LindseyGraham.com.” It would seem natural to frame a feature like that with a tagline like “Post with your support!” And, you know, clean up that URL.

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Social media

Here, Graham is playing a conservative game. He’s sticking with basic Facebook and Twitter accounts and has been updating each one, slowly but surely. There’s nothing noteworthy about his online presence, aside from the fact that he is a 59-year-old man using social media.

Rating

C. You know when something’s so average and boring that it’s worse than bad? Like a reality TV show about home renovation? That’s how I feel about Lindsey Graham’s website.

Read the entire RevURL series here.

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