Just a quick note between Siggraph events--
CNET's Declan McCullagh has written an article (here) describing the Internet phenomenon that is the Ron Paul presidential candidacy.
It has a lot of information and insight on how the Internet can turn a fringe candidate (although in this case, Dr. Paul is on the rational fringe, not the lunatic fringe) into a serious contender.
Good stuff. I say, check it out.