Saturday, August 12, 2006

"So God Bless the Bloggers"

On primary night Courant reporter Mark Spencer was hanging around the Bloggers media room taking notes and interviewing people for a story about the influence of blogs. I have to admit being leery of his presence and worried about what the article would be like. I could not have been more wrong.

From the Article:
In the wake of Lamont's stunning victory, traditional political operatives and the bloggers themselves are trying to figure out exactly how bloggers may have influenced the outcome and what role the emerging medium will play in future campaigns.
Their ranks included frustrated progressives, rank-and-file Democrats who felt Lieberman was paying too little attention to the state and voters angered by his stance on various issues, such as favoring federal intervention to keep Terry Schiavo on life support.

Tim Tagaris, Lamont's Internet communications director, worked with bloggers in a way akin to how a traditional press secretary works with the media. He said he tried to provide them with information their readers wanted, while also focusing on fundraising and volunteer recruitment, which blogs can bolster through links on their websites.

"They acted as a tremendous complement to the various traditional parts of the campaign," Tagaris said.

And since everyone and their mother is discussing it I'll pose the question here. How much did liberal blogs influence the primary? And what does the future hold?

Spencer, Mark. ""Bloggers Deflect Political Credit" Hartford Courant. 8/12/06


Anonymous said...

Bloggers were influential in this last race because one side used them and one didn't. Consider this a controlled experiment.

Cosnervative bloggers (Powerline Instapundit et al) were effective in 2004. Ask Dan Rather. But evidently surfer Sean didn't surf the net, and didn;t know how to use them for his candidate

Tim White said...

Bloggers had a significant impact. Although no one blogged in the voting booth, they absolutely had a role in providing Ned with a way to spread his message.

I think that on a much smaller scale, my own blog had an impact on my own primary (R-89; Bethany, Cheshire, Prospect). The key is the immediacy of the unfiltered response (pls no shots at GC about him moderating. You all know what I mean). It was particularly beneficial during the last weekend when I was able to refute factually untrue charges that were made against me. And while my blog has far fewer visitors than CTLP, MLN or others, keep in mind, my election only saw 700+ voters. So even if my blog only caught the attention of 20 or so voters on the final weekend... and if they spoke to their friends, family and neighbors... that number could easily multiply to 5-10% of all voters.

I think the two key issues where blogs help are in 1) the immediacy & 2) the lack of space constraints.

And while there were many reasons why Ned won, I think these two things were central in enabling Ned's supporters (or Joe's detractors) to come together and, to a certain extent, to quickly refine and spread his message. And with only seven mos to pull it off, I don't think he would have had the time to earn his victory without the blogs.

Responsible blogging is the 1st Amendment brought to life.

Chris MC said...


Look at this piece of sh*t.

Boomer, what are you thinking about?!

Blatant exploitation.

It is positively open season on Johnson. My God what a creep.

Great Santini said...

No doubt that bloggers had a huge impact - especially on the under 30, computer saavy group. Statistics show that younger people seldom read newspapers or watch TV news - they get their info from the net. And then they talk about on the blogs. This the group that came out huge for Lamont.

Bobby McGee said...

Liberal blogs were instrumental in getting Lamont on his feet and into a position where he could even hope to compete with Lieberman. After that I think their influence was marginal, maybe even a little negative (read: Lieberman in blackface). There's no way Lieberman could have been taken down by bloggers alone; there was definitly some resentment already in the democratic community.

cgg said...

Lieberman absolutely missed the blogging boat, but that doesn't surprise me. The campaign was ignorant of so many things regarding the Internet, including their own darn website.

I figured that eventually Lieberman's supporters would start blogs of their own, but we never really saw that. I've seen about as many pro-Lieberman bloggers online as I've met pro-Lieberman Democrats offline.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

There is no real answer to the question posed here. My best guess is that political blogs provide a vehicle for pol junkies like us to exchange points of view and potentially coalesce.

Blogs and internet reporting are only really effective when they provide horizontal collaboration- e.g., taking down Dan Rather.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

Chris MC,

Best thing to do with the Johnson ad is to ignore it. Don't fight them on their turf. It's a trick out of 2002 and 2004- and you'll get a pie in the face if you go there.

Ned needs to think about broadening the positive message of his campaign- I'm sure he is now that he can. I think the public is well-educated about Joe's stance on Iraq and chummy relationship with Bush. Waste of resources to continue concentrating on that at the same level.

Alan said...

Before the blogosphere goes crazy talking to ourselves about how we won the race, I can think of 4,000,000 other reasons that people were persuaded to vote for Lamont.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

BRube, you asked below why I lumped in trial lawyers with the middle class. Clarification- I was saying that trial lawyers have an extra reason to hate Joe:

The Trial Lawyers lobby, which I know well, too, really doesn't like him so much- and you know why. Just one example? Joe supported federal No-Fault laws even after we rejected it here in CT. Joe is bad for business.

Lawyers (and I will confess to having a JD on my wall) have a disproportionate influence on and involvement in politics- that's nothing new. Most of us are affluent, but those of us who are in the trial biz (not I) really don't like Joe.

TrueBlueCT said...

There were pro-Lieberman bloggers, back in the day. But one by one they all quit, out of disgust and dismay. Joe's actions have proven unsupportable. So there you have it.

In terms of our side, we made this race fun, fun, fun. So much fun that the traditional media avoided the traditional "horse race" reporting that kills so many grassroots campaigns.

One of my favorite moments was when Sean Smith characterized the Lamont campaign as "all bark, and no bite." The next day we took 33% of the convention vote!

The blogs have proven a great means of getting information out. Like does everyone know that the Lieberman's receive $40,000 a year from Joe's late uncle's estate? (the Ben Manger Foundation and Family Trust.) And does everyone know that Joe's uncle paid for half of his DC townhouse. That's right, half of Joe's million dollar DC townhouse is owned by his late uncle's estate.

Another fun fact is that having sold his Westville home, Joe has move into an apartment at 900 Chapel Street. (the Chapel Square mall tower, adjacent to the New Haven Green.) Supposedly the woman living next door is being tossed out of her unit so that Joe can annex it to his.

Anyway, the guy who owns 900 Chapel Street is David Nyberg, who happens to be a close friend of Bob Matthews, --the real estate developer who was so deeply involved in the Rowland scandal.

P.S. Did I mention that Lieberman lost not only his hometown of New Haven, but also his old Westville neighborhood. (Ward 25). Ouch. That's got to hurt.

Anonymous said...


Bob Matthews has given far more $$ to D's. Hillary, Bill, Dodd, Teddy K, Patrick K....

Anonymous said...

gonna throw him his coin back?

DNC Services Corp

cheshiredem said...

Wow, just saw the NJ ad. It's really too bad she has to stoop so low. She seems afraid of talking about her stance on issues. I probably would be if I was her too. Chris Murphy is actually talking issues- how refeshing.

By the way, bloggers are here to stay and people are finally seeing the role they play.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

Finding out that Joe was receiving $40K a year from his uncle's trust was totally key. That was pure political jujitsu.

It won the election. Proof positive that blogs did it.

The "Yeah, I may be JP Morgan's partner's great grandson, but you have a rich uncle" counterthrust on the blogs will go down in electronic political history as the most important thing that probably ever happened.

Anonymous said...

Chris Murphy is talking about issues????

Lite rock 100.5 has more substantive policy discussion that Murphy's feel good TV ad

"Now after we change Washington, we'll start a long set with Air Supply and Michael Bolton "

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Chris MC said... "Boomer, what are you thinking about?!"

He's thinking about knocking out the antichrist.

Dave's a genius.

BTW - Congrats to Tim White!


Anonymous said...

If the bloggers are the future than God help us. The nasty, hateful words that come from so many bloggers just bring us all down.

disgruntled_republican said...

I gotta tell you, I see nothing wrong with Nancy's ad...I like it. But I suspect that some folks here would like any ad she does...he points out his voting record, you al scream...she does a mushy piece with a 9/11 mother, you all scream...maybe if she did a piece telling everyone how good the Murphdog is you would like it.

Chris MC said...

Stop it DG & ACR. This was a staged reenactment of a funeral.

There is no justification for it, no matter how partisan you are (pretty much a total delimiter in campaign season) or how much you despise her opponent.

Pandering isn't strong enough criticism, exploitation is more like it.

Add hypocrisy to the critique too. This is the same Nancy Johnson who doesn't want the press recording the ceremonies attending the return of our dead from Iraq and Afghanistan.

But go ahead and defend the indefensible.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Chris MC said...
But go ahead and defend the indefensible.

You simply don't know Murphy well enough.