Given the number of mentions on Instapundit alone of YouTube videos having telling effect this just-past political cycle, I predict more than a few someone's will pursue a course of action something like the following for the 2012 cycle.
A moderately well-heeled campaign will hire 12-15 people at (US)$1,000.00/week with an additional (US)$1,000.00/week operating budget each, starting about a year from today. These people would initially work to document the candidate's electioneering efforts while they hone and develop their filming and reporting skills and methodology (both individually and working as spontaneous teams).
Once competing campaigns are identified, selected videographers are assigned to capture as much video of the candidate and his/her campaign as possible. As the more viable opponents emerge over the course of the year, a greater proportion of the video campaign effort is assigned to the more prominent/effective opponent(s), leading eventually to literal 24/7 coverage of the post-Primary candidate(s).
Objective: document and report self-destructive behavior by the opposing candidate(s) and/or the campaign's operatives/supporters and post it on YouTube (and other video outlets) as early and often as seems useful over the course of the 2012 campaign effort.
Simultaneous to this, a few videographers travel with the candidate to document OpFor activities staged against the campaign. This can include documenting the general activities of those identified as OpFor personnel (think New Black Panther members) going about their public personal activities as well.
So, 15 people @ $1k/week + $1k/week operating funds x 50 weeks = (US)$300,000.00.
Even with the added expense of initial equipment purchases (to include vehicle leases) along with contingency funds (medical expenses incurred "on the job", serial data encription software implimentation for internal communication security, etc), a year-long coordinated effort to control the campaign narrative and influence all campaign reporting by others for not much more than a (US)$500,000.00 budget for a year-long national political campaign doesn't seem a terribly excessive investment given the demonstrated potential return there-on (unfortunately, I don't see the numbers becoming remarkably smaller for a regional/state level campaign either; the principal expense is the people, the videographers, so even a local campaign wouldn't be able to cut the number of personnel required for effective coverage of even a major municipality by more than, say a third of those projected above).
This is yet another example of how classical strategy works "in the real world"; identify an opportunity (most commonly a risk of some demarcateable description - if an apparent opportunity can't be clearly demarcated it falls to the level of variably vague "threat", a potential risk perhaps), position forces to advance your position thereby (in the example above, learn how to effectively use video equipment under a variety of conditions along with the computer technology to get the result on YouTube as quickly as possible for one possibility) and arrange an alliance to maximise the advancement for all allied positions (sticking to the example above; get your name and skills "out there" and decide what your alliance standards and conditions are in advance, just for a start). Sun Tzu's The Art of War really ought to be titled "THE ART OF SUCCESS".
So, anybody got any equipment recommendations? :)
Update: It occurs to me that a professional political consultant seeking modern relivancey *cough* Karl Rove *cough* or a news/opinion reporting business *cough* PJTV *cough* might find this model an attractive operational investment to begin developing this year.
Just saying ...