by Jerome Armstrong, Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 06:26:54 AM EST
Aaron Myers's spams me from the firstname.lastname@example.org email addy to inform me about: "...two new additions to the John Edwards for President campaign team. Amanda Marcotte.. as our Blogmaster.... Melissa McEwan as the campaign's Netroots Coordinator."
Amanda Marcotte blogs on Pandagon about becoming a Edwards staffer.
Melissa McEwan blogs on Shakespeare's Sister about her move to Edwards.
This is a interesting angle of hires from the netroots for Edwards. Shakespeare's Sister and Pandagon are blogs that I think would be characterized as 'ideologically-centered' as oppossed to being 'big-tent' democratic blogs.
This is actually the first move by the Edwards campaign in the netroots that I find ground-breaking. Similar to the work that we were doing on Mark Warner's PAC, with the tech and gaming blogosphere. If they look at the blogrolls of Amanda on Pandagon, and the "blog props" of Shakespeare's Sister, maybe Danny Glover and Conn Carroll will be able to tell the DC bubble that a whole new blogosphere exists on the left that engages politics.
Some of them consist of the bloggers that vehemently disagreed with the Crashing The Gate statement that single-issue groups need to put aside their pet issues to work toward the cause of a Democratic majority (the recipe for the success of '06). That said, this move by both Amanda and Melissa represents the sort of pragmatism necessary to actually work in politics.
It's also a great move at mobilizing feminist and women bloggers behind Edwards instead of Hillary Clinton. Sure, that doesn't matter much in the early states of IA, NV, NH, SC, where organizing is king, but it will with fundraising and organizing beyond the first tier of presidential contests. But most of all, it's a move on the issues to the liberal side of the spectrum.
What this move symbolizes in the blogosphere is that Edwards team understands how to move to the left on the issues. The early move by Edwards to consolidate the liberal wing of the Democratic party at the beginning is very smart. It's how McGovern won the 1972 Democratic primary (I've been reading Gary Hart's "Right from the Start"). As Hart described McGovern's tactic:
There's also an interesting article out on Barack Obama by DC's CW, Harold Fineman, Is Obama Losing Web War? It seems to confirm the grumble I've heard about his lacking active organizing in the early states and their teams non-understanding of the netroots. That's not to say they won't come to the table and compete within the next 6 months (I think with regards to early state organizing that they will), but with Edwards staking out the ideological left, and Obama stalking a more non-partisan position, Obama could lose the competitive advantage that he gained in street cred from his uber-left stand against the Iraq invasion in 2002. His team's tactical planning, nail down the big money first and organize later, doesn't understand the way that they net has transformed presidential politics.
But there's also an argument to be made, on Obama's behalf, that he's endeavoring on an internet strategy that targets youth as his added-value to the turnout model. On Friday, he's attending a "Students For Barack Obama" Facebook rally. Obama is lucky to have this happening on his behalf, but he's smart to embrace and encourage the effort. Now, I've seen the extra-youth turnout models fall flat on their face in Iowa (with Dean), but Obama's appeal to the Millennial generation, as oppossed to Edwards appeal to the ideological left of older more traditionally politically active generations, is unique and full of possibilities in the big-state primaries.
I'm attending the DNC winter meetings on Friday and Saturday, so I'll hopefully be blogging alot more about the presidential candidates.