In the early part of each presidential race, candidates throw their hats into the ring -- and, of course, create a website. If you want a trip down memory lane to when candidate websites really started, visit the Dole/Kemp website from 1996 -- it’s remained untouched for the last two decades, a perfect time capsule of both the candidates’ political ideologies and mid-'90s clip art.
But as technology transforms, so do (the majority of) these websites. Whether they've consistently changed for the better is to be determined (over the past few years, the Washington Post, TechCrunch, and Mental Floss have weighed in on this). Meanwhile, just because some candidates delete them in the end, doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. There’s a site dedicated to capturing each presidential campaign site in all its patriotic glory, and of course there’s also the Internet Archive’s Wayback machine.
But what happens to these presidential candidates’ websites when they’re no longer candidates? For the ones who remain in the Senate or the House, they often dissolve their campaign site and move back to their generic government sites. But for the rest, it’s a very different story.
Below we take a look at some well known candidates -- and a few we forgot about -- to see what’s become of their online presence. Have they transformed their online persona in a post-presidential campaign world or let it die?
Alan Keyes: A conservative political activist, Keyes ran for president in 1996, 2000 and 2008. And while his original website looked like the other candidates’ (political colors, his plan for the U.S.), it has morphed into a pay-to-view site -- after the five free views, of course. And those five free views are not by visit to the site, but by pageviews, after that it’s “$2/month, $20/year or $150 for access that does not expire.” We wanted to poke around the “impeach” tab a bit more, but we only had one view left, so maybe you can give it a look and see what’s going on.