Progressive bloggrrrls hop on the Edwards train

I'm posting about this development because I have connections to both Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon (I'm the co-blogger there) and Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare's Sister (we launched the Big Brass Alliance during the Downing Street Minutes brouhaha).

These fine women are two big names in the progressive blogosphere who have been tapped to work for the John Edwards campaign. Amanda will be moving to NC to helm the Edwards blog as Blogmistress (or as she refers to it, Blogatrix), and Melissa will be the campaign's Netroots Coordinator.

You can’t say that they aren’t a savvy crew over there at Team Edwards, because they are scooping up the big guns on the almost-A list (they are both A in my book, but we know what I mean when it comes to the big boys in the blog world, underline boys). The folks at Pandagon and at Shakes Sis are large, politically engaged and active readers — and will give the Edwards camp a fair hearing. I’m sure that these developments are due to Elizabeth Edwards, who is well-versed and ever-present in the blogosphere.

It will be interesting to see what kind of pressure this puts on the other candidates to recruit well-known voices from the netroots, and what editorial effect that will have on blogs generally, since both will continue blogging at their primary pads in addition to their work for JRE. This is certainly generating more buzz on the blogs than developments at Hillaryland.

Melissa:

As for The Big Question: Why Edwards? A lot of reasons, none of which I've been too shy about sharing as my personal support for him has increased over the last months, although you can read more in my first Edwards blog post here. I will, however, mention the three little words that ultimately got me: "I was wrong." That's how John Edwards started his Nov. 13 op-ed in the Washington Post, referring to his Iraq war vote. "I was wrong," he said, and more than that: "I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake—the men and women of our armed forces and their families—have performed heroically and paid a dear price. … [A] key part of restoring America's moral leadership is acknowledging when we've made mistakes or been proven wrong—and showing that we have the creativity and guts to make it right." I don't need a president who never makes mistakes; those don't even exist. I need a president who's willing to admit them. Those have been in short order as of late, you may have noticed.

Amanda:

First, because I know you’re dying to know, why did I throw my hat into the Edwards ring? Two major reasons. The first is that of all the candidates in the field, the only one worth my endorsement is John Edwards. He’s the only candidate that isn’t falling for the same tired line about moving to the center and is actually talking about issues that matter, like poverty. On the feminist angle, I think that this interview with Kate Michelman, the former head of NARAL, says it all on why I feel that the best candidate for feminists to endorse is John Edwards. That Hillary Clinton is a woman is not enough for me, since she makes maneuvers that send up all sorts of red flags.

In sum, I want Edwards to win and I want to help make that happen.

The other reason I’m joining the campaign is because I think that they really understand the growing importance of the internet in politics. Seriously, look at how cool the blog is already and this is all before I get my hooks into it. I want to make the internet a more important part of politics, and I see this campaign as a way to do that.

By recruiting Amanda and Melissa, the Edwards campaign is buying a "brand" of progressive voter -- and a ton of credibility in lefty blogtopia. I personally think they'll do a great job; they are excellent writers and passionate about the same issues that made them attractive picks for the Edwards campaign (an aside -- I've not endorsed any candidate, so my comments here simply represent support for these two superb trailblazing bloggrrrls).

2008 is certainly going to be more interesting — and more confusing — than 2004, as the worlds of campaigns, blogs and the mainstream media worlds collide. While they are working for Edwards 2008, both will maintain a presence on their primary blogs. That raises interesting questions about the branding of their own blogs and how they will be viewed by readers as the campaign heats up. As one commenter said over at my pad (and I gather more than a few readers might feel this way):

If the 92 announced candidates for 2008 start hiring all the bloggers how will we know when we are receiving good information or hype? Recruiting good workers with a following is a fine way to help get a message out...but please don't sacrifice the little objectivity that still remains in the world by sucking up to "the man" or "the woman".

It will be a bumpy and fascinating ride.

Comments

Thanks, Pam

It's exciting that they chose two women, but just a weeeeee bit disappointing they didn't pull someone from NC. Then again.....not sure North Carolina touts too many (other than you - b/c you are A-list in my book) who come close to "almost A-list"......but we're getting there. Maybe by 2008 we will have developed our voices and our communities to the point that we can compete with the big boys and girls. :)

Seriously, two excellent women brought in to the campaign is cause for celebration. I've read their work. I bet you're right about EE's involvement in the selection. Actions speak louder than words.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

I was surprised no one was tapped from the home team

There are many Edwards enthusiasts in the local blogosphere to tap for such a position, but I understand the strategy of acquiring star power -- and with it, a large pool of intelligent readers (and fellow bloggers) who will be active listeners, if not advocates or converts down the line. It makes it easier to take a message viral.

Thanks for the props, though I seriously doubt any campaigns will be knocking at my door, even with the Blend's awards, sizeable visitor counts and national reach. I discussed that in this post the other day when announcing Amanda's move over at my blog.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

The quality of their work

speaks for itself. I really don't think we were overlooked, we just aren't "there" yet. North Carolina has an abundance of committed, consistently strong voices in the blogosphere and it's exciting watching our community grow.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Might I suggest Kos?

I'm sure the these bloggers will make themselves known soon enough, but your last paragraphs strike home. Just to take BlueNC as an example (totally making this up, but). What if Bev Perdue hired A, Moore hired SD, Smathers hired me, Mike Munger hired Screwy (sorry Screwy!), etc.

Where would people go for the discussions we used to have here? I'm not saying that campaigns don't need internet savvy people to consult or be hired, nor that any of us should do that, it's just that you raise a really interesting point.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Absolutely.

If you were hired by Moore, it still wouldn't effect your posts on Hayes or Charlotte politics. But, obviously everythign done about the governor's race would have to be taken with a grain of salt. WHich, is probably why the full-time bloggers quit writing about those races.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Absolutely

I know you're talking hypotheticals, but I have a serious question for you. Do you think NC is ready to have a candidate for governor hiring "crazy netroots blogger-types"? I wonder if that wouldn't be used against them by the good old boys(Rs and Ds).



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Let's face it...

our legislators don't know what email is, so I doubt many in state government will be leaping on the blogs anytime soon. The only folks who might be savvy enough to see this as a benefit are those running for Governor and obviously whomever runs for Senate. Well, I say obviously, but if Easley runs we might see a 2002-style campaign, ignoring the netroots more or less altogetheer.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Amanda Marcotte..?

A disgraceful nut, and the worst thing for the Edwards' campaign. She's already been outed on several blogs as stating that NC is where women and blacks are seen as subhumans to be used by white men. Also still actually holds that the Duke defendents are guilty of rape. Worse than that, she tries to delete items from her blogs when she's been found out. The assumption out there is that some low-level employee of Edwards hired her.

That's enough.

You are clearly not interested in North Carolina politics, just the ridiculous circus in Durham. Given that, here are a couple blogs for you to visit that care only about that case, you should be right at home.

Durham-in-Wonderland.

Justice 4 Two Sisters

If you need more let me know and I'll explain The Google to you.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me