Still live: Bob Dole's 1996 election site

The Web is always supposed to be about now. And yet, still throbbing out there is the Dole-Kemp campaign site for the 1996 presidential election. It promises, well, smaller government.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Never lose hope.

That's what I always tell myself on the darkest of days, when I am even more misunderstood than usual.

I have a new symbol of this attitude. Because my colleague, Kent German, has just passed me a link to something I never thought I'd see: the Bob Dole/Jack Kemp campaign site for the 1996 presidential election.

This is like visiting the Smithsonian without leaving one's pillow. It's like reflecting on how times have moved apace, without seeming to move at all.

Here, for example, are promises that seem uncannily familiar. The tagline reads: "More opportunities. Smaller government. Stronger and safer families."

Just as fellow Republican Mitt Romney was chided for typos on his own Web page, here is: "About the Team. The Story of American Heros."

And this might have been 1996, but the campaign knew where people's heads were: games. Yes, there's even a link to interactive games like trivia quizzes and crossword puzzles.

The twentysomethings who populate " Start-Ups: Silicon Valley " want you to believe that today's world is nothing like two years ago, never mind 1996.

But, look. Nothing's changed in 16 years, save for taste in typefaces.

One question remains: Who keeps this thing alive? Why? For posterity? For education?

Indeed, it is the latter. For if you crawl around, you'll discover that it is maintained by 4President.org, for educational purposes.

Will we ever learn, though? I have my doubts.

 

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