Forbes launching presidential bid online

Multimillionaire publisher Steve Forbes set to take his bid for the 2000 election to the Net.

Multimillionaire magazine publisher Steve Forbes will announce his bid for the 2000 Republican nomination for president in an online event scheduled for 8 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Other likely Republican candidates, including Elizabeth Dole, George W. Bush and John Kasich, have launched Web sites offering varying degrees of information about their nascent campaigns.

Dole and Bush are collecting donations online for their presidential bids. But no other candidates have specifically used the Web to announce their candidacy.

The announcement -- to be Webcast live at -- will set the tone for a campaign that will emphasize "direct contact with individual Americans," according to one of the site's designers.

"The essence of this campaign is going to be to help individuals take back politics from the pundits," said Richard Segal Jr., managing director of Hensley Segal Rentschler, a Cincinnati-based Web site design consulting firm that is helping Forbes build his campaign site.

"Since the Internet is the world's new freedom network, we intend to use it to help reinvigorate politics," Segal said.

Forbes, publisher of the financial news magazine that bears his name, sought the GOP presidential nomination in 1996 on a platform that emphasized his flat-tax plan, but lost out to former Sen. Bob Dole.

Standing out in a crowd
This time around, Forbes is hoping to differentiate himself from the increasingly crowded pack of would-be Republican nominees partly by taking to the Web for campaigning, information-sharing, and what e-commerce analysts would call "brand awareness," Segal said.

"We're going to launch a national network for recruiting precinct leaders and fund raising" with the site, he said. "I believe we'll to become the of presidential campaign sites because we're going to get all the information out there, and do it first."

As of late Monday afternoon, the site was now empty aside from a message saying "America's first full-scale Internet campaign begins here, Tuesday, March 16, 1999."


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