Thursday, 1 February 2007

John Edwards and the Great Blog-Rush of 2008

Let us congratulate Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. They're both "Men of Goodwill" (despite not being Masons, fraternal or, to the best of my knowledge, Men) (*), and the Edwards campaign is better for having them. And money is the sincerest form of appreciation.

Now, let's consider the implications. The Edwards campaign is obviously making a play for positioning its image among an important demographic. It's not just the people who read Pandagon and Shakespeares Sister directly, it's the flow-on effect - many of those in the audience also blog, and are opinion leaders, and by associating the campaign with these two high-profile bloggers, the campaign is disseminating a specific image to a key audience. This was not the case when Kos was picked up as a consultant or when he endorses candidates - Kos is selling his expertise and his central role as a tactician for Democratic-leaning voters. Marcotte and McEwan are selling their alignment with the Edward's campaign, implicitly stating that his views are in sync with the political personas they have established and explicitly communicating based on people's prior understandings of their positions.

Branding.

Which makes me wonder whether this is going to be a common tactic of the future. Edwards is targeting the progressive voter (well, duh!), but what happens when other candidates aiming at other targets try the same thing?

Which Democrat is going to go after other liberal bloggers? Which after moderate or sane conservative bloggers? Is John Cole up for grabs?

Which Republican is going to make a play for Jim Robinson of Free Republic? Which will go for Jeff Goldstein? Will anyone invite Pamela Geller (aka "Atlas Juggs") to the dance?

This might be getting interesting...

(*) Me, I'm an asshole. And proud of it. It's an important function in the discourse ecology. Somewhere above bedrock, but below slime mold as I understand it.