Technology has taken a back seat to other issues in the presidential campaign.

Early on, Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) and Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) viewed technology as a significant issue with an important bearing on the nation's future.

But it's been eclipsed by events as the country has fallen on hard times and issues such as the economy, health care and energy have taken on more importance for voters.

The issue hardly surfaced in the three presidential debates. One of the few times it did come up during the campaign was in an Obama ad that poked fun at McCain's efforts to learn how to use the PC and email.

"I wonder how much the statements from either candidate are still operable," said Yale Braunstein, a professor at the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley.

Technology plays to Obama's strength. He grew up knowing and enjoying the value of tech. He reportedly carries two cell phones and a RIM ( RIMM) BlackBerry and can easily dabble in tech with the heads of industry, as he showed with senior executives of Google ( GOOG) on a visit to Silicon Valley.

Obama also understood the power of the Internet when he used it to amass a record-shattering war chest for his campaign.

Braunstein said McCain may not as a "heavy user of the Internet" and "skilled in taking advantage of social networking" as Obama but he and his staff have done a good job of keeping up with telecom and broadcast cable TV policy.

McCain's campaign Web site also touts the senator's leadership in developing technology policy as chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

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