AdNags whines about blogs
What did you say about my blog,
ya filthy motherfucker?
Internet Injects Sweeping Change Into U.S. Politics
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
If there was any resistance, it is rapidly melting away.John Aravosis goes ballistic over the line about Lieberman, me not so much. Lieberman's mouth is Bush Lackey, all of the time, his voting record, well, not so much.
Mark Warner, the former Democratic governor of Virginia, began preparing for a potential 2008 presidential campaign by hiring a blogging pioneer, Jerome Armstrong, a noteworthy addition to the usual first-wave of presidential campaign hiring of political consultants and fund-raisers.
Mr. Warner is now one of at least three potential presidential candidates — the others are the party's 2004 presidential and vice presidential candidates, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Mr. Edwards — who are routinely posting what aides say are their own writings on campaign blogs or on public blogs like the Daily Kos, the nation's largest.
On the left in particular, bloggers have emerged as something of a police force guarding against disloyalty among Democrats, as Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic consultant, learned after he told The Washington Post that bloggers and online donors "are not representative of the majority you need to win elections."
A Daily Kos blogger wrote: "Not one dime, ladies and gentlemen, to anything connected with Steve Elmendorf. Anyone stupid enough to actually give a quote like that deserves to have every single one of his funding sources dry up." Asked about the episode, Mr. Elmendorf insisted the posting had not hurt his business, but added contritely: "Since I got attacked on them, I read blogs a lot more and I find them very useful."
One of the big challenges to the campaigns is not only adjusting to the changes of the past two years but also to anticipate now the kind of technological changes that might be on hand by the next presidential campaign. Among those most cited are the ability of campaigns to beam video campaign advertisements to cell phones.
"All these consultants are still trying to make sense of what blogs are, and I think by 2008 they are going to have a pretty good idea: They are going to be like, 'We're hot and we're hip and we're bloggin',' " said Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the Daily Kos. "But by 2008, the blogs are going to be so institutionalized, it's not going to be funny."
Bloggers, for all the benefits they might bring to both parties, have proved to be a complicating political influence for Democrats. They have tugged the party consistently to the left, particularly on issues like the war, and have been openly critical of such moderate Democrats as Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut.
Still, Democrats have been particularly enthusiastic about the potential of this technology to get the party back on track, with many Democratic leaders arguing that the Internet is today for Democrats what talk radio was for Republicans 10 years ago. "This new media becomes much more important to us because conservatives have been more dominant in traditional media," said Simon Rosenberg, the president of the centrist New Democratic Network. "This stuff becomes really critical for us."
For all the attention being paid to Internet technology, there remain definite limitations to its reach. Internet use declines markedly among Americans over 65, who tend to be the nation's most reliable voters. Until recently, it tended to be more heavily used by middle- and upper-income people.
And while the Internet is efficient at reaching supporters, who tend to visit and linger at political sites, it has proved to be much less effective at swaying voters who are not interested in politics. "The holy grail that everybody is looking for right now is how can you use the Internet for persuasion," Mr. Armstrong, the Warner campaign Internet adviser, said.
In this age of multitasking, voters are not as captive to a Web site as they might be to a 30-second television advertisement, or a campaign mailing. That was a critical lesson of the collapse of Mr. Dean's presidential campaign, after he initially enjoyed great Internet success in raising money and drawing crowds.
"It's very easy to look at something and just click delete," said Carl Forti, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "At least if they are taking out a piece of mail, you know they are taking it out and looking at it on the way to the garbage can."
However, his comment on supporting Catholic hospitals right to deny morning after pills to rape victims was beyond the pale.
But I love that line about Daily Kos being the nation's largest political blog.
posted by Steve @ 6:55:00 PM