A few shout-outs for Netrooters
by Jerome Armstrong, Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 02:28:06 AM EST
Let me give a shout-out to the '06 MyDD bloggers-- what a crew, and a few other personal high-fives.Let me first give props to Rusty Foster for making the server transition here, awesome job as usual Rusty.
Congrats to Chris Bowers for following up on my being the first to break the '04 exit poll numbers, by being the first blogger to be noted for posting exit poll numbers in '06. Markos and I used to give Bowers a lot of shit in emails for being too concilitory and not calling a spade and being tough enough, but no more. It's been terrific watching Chris take the lead here and be able to make the whole 'netroots to grassroots' notion a reality in his own life. He's gonna rock the PA Democratic establishment big-time in the coming years. Gloating a bit, I predicted (without using any cheatsheat astrological timing either;) on his prediction thread of 6 seats gained in the Senate and 32 House seats gained. Let me also give a shout out to those that predicted 6 Senate seats gained and were within 5 eitherside of the number of House seats gained(looks like 27-29): AllenB101, stuckinsf, skywaker9, psublue, conspiracy.
I encouraged Scott Shields to leave MyDD in the spring to go run Bob Menendez's internet operations, and he did a stand-up job in getting netroots support behind the Menendez victory. I'm hoping he comes back on board here for the '08 cycle after a rest, as he's one of the best horse-race bloggers around.
I asked Jonathan Singer if he wanted to take a break from blogging while running a St. House campaign in Oregon, and he's said he'd could do both, and then went out and accomplished just that here. He's got way more mental energy than I do (or maybe its cause he doesn't have to young kids), and congrats on his well-run uphill campaign-- there are wins ahead of you Jon.
And for Matt Stoller, who has paved the path here on MyDD for how to blog on the road with camapaigns. His coverage of Lamont's victory primary deserves a pulitzer. I got on his case for being obsessive about Lamont, but I was rooting for him all the way. He and David Sirota and Tim Tagaris made it happen in CT. There's little doubt in my mind that the reason we took back the US Senate was because of the excitement that Lamonts victory created. From before Lamont's victory to after, the amount of traffic in page views on the blogosphere's Liberal Ad Network went from around 50M monthly to over 110M monthly. Lamont's victory made that happen. Biggest losers-- the "rightroots", who went 2-19 in 2006. They can laugh all they want about Lamont going down, but it's more jelousy than anything; becase Lamont paved the way to our majority.
Let me give a local netroots shout-out to Lowell and Josh for starting Raising Kaine. That blog exemplified the power of the netroots in 2006. James Webb was drafted by the Virginia blogosphere, he won the primary because of netroots to grassroots action, over 60% of his funds came from the netroots, and he won the biggest political upset in the nation because of these efforts.
A big thanks to the AFL-CIO's Kombiz Lavasany. We go back to the last cycle, when he worked the Bloody 8th and then in Iowa and blogging here off and on. His coalition building efforts are building the template that's going to strengthen the progressive movement. They sponsored Adam Conner and Nancy Scola, whom you saw blogging from the campaign road here on MyDD, and I'm sure they'll have many more campaign blogs ahead of them.
Personally, the last two years have been some of the hardest and most rewarding. The day after the 2004 loss, I said grrrrr with frustration, and then blogged that Howard Dean was going to be the DNC Chair. Period. The netroots made that happen. I remember going with Matt Stoller down to Orlando and getting booted out of the hall for blogging the first executive committee meeting; and then we took an exit poll of DNC members finding that Dean could in fact win with grassroots help. From there, the people-powered movement all across the nation crashed the gate right back on the establishment, and put Dean and our 50 state movement at the head of the Democratic Party's agenda.
The day Howard Dean was elected Chair in February of '05, I plotted with Mame Reiley on how Governor Warner could catapult to national recognition with a Kaine victory in November. Experiencing that strategy play out laid the groundwork for 2006, when I was able to build a fantastic interent-tech team on Warner's PAC. From the pop-up on-screen little-Warner welcoming visitors to the website (hey, it increased sign-ups by 400% :), to getting Texas Nate Wilcox on board to run online communications (and deal with the Bob Johnson's); our tech wonk (and hack in training) Nancy Scola, who will have lasting fame for having Warner be the first politician to enter avatar world; our programmers, the big picture Trei Brundrett (whose wife with mine do the real work) and our workhorse Pablo Mercado (you might know him as A Series of Tubes on SL); and watching Adam go from blogger-in-training on FT to hearing praise for his MyDD campaign-road blogging, and the Youthroots/TxtVoter team of Riki, Joel, and Dominic, and hey Josh. Mapchangers, all of you.
But in-between, Markos and I wrote Crashing The Gate, and did two national tours. First, through 20 states for interviews during '05 in the Summer, and then 35 cities this Spring. Writing the book crystalized for us how important the blogosphere is to Democrats winning again, but also how it was part of a larger movement. I know those talking points like the back of my hand now. The highlights of the tour are many for me, including introducing Ned Lamont in CT, just before he catapulted to national exposure; doing a talk at Powell's in Portland (where I spent months as I went to grad shool there); getting to invite my Mom and her L.A. sisters to Norman Lear's house for a talk and an early screening of Al Gore's movie; predicting at VA's Sorenson Institute that YouTube would bring down a '08 Presidential nominee (2 months later Allen made macaca), hehe; and many other moments. We've been at the epicenter of this movement, and along with the bloggers here at MyDD, we all know that it's the community that makes it happen. Writing Crashing The Gate was like taking a snapshot of what's happening in this movement, and is just an early draft of how this progressive movement is going change our nation. 2006 proved it's happening.
I know there's many more netroots heros that deserve praise, and give your own shout-outs in the comments if you'd like.
I'm gonna follow-up on this post with a biggest winners and losers from the '06 candidates and campaigns and blogosphere. Feel free to offer up suggestions.