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Saturday, January 28, 2006 

Zywicki on Blogs

Todd Zywicki at Volokh takes a look at a Washington Post article about my third favorite past time. Zywicki looks at Kerry's recent stint as a Daily Kos blogger...
I found particularly interesting the references to Senator (and presumably Presidential-aspirant) Kerry's efforts to reach out to bloggers, such as his post this week on Daily Kos announcing his decision to try to filibuster the Alito nomination (and before that his comments on Iraq). My initial thought is that it is quite a savvy way by him of trying to establish his bona fides with the Democratic grass-roots base so as to try to peel away some of this constituency that otherwise seems naturally inclined Senator Clinton.
Until '08 comes around, this looks like Kerry's strategy. He's got to undercut Clinton's support. How can he do that? Get the base on his side. Get the Kos kids on his side. Throw them a little red meat (like a futile filibuster of Judge Alito). It's a great way to attack Clinton. Look at how fast she signed on to the filibuster. But Kerry already won this round with the base. It's his filibuster, not hers. She's just along for the ride.

Zywicki then looks at a difference between liberal and conservative blogs...
This leads me to wonder whether one explanation for the apparent difference between conservative and liberal blogs is that in some sense conservative blogs and talk radio work in tandem with each other, whereas liberal blogs essentially have to perform simultaneously both of the functions served by two distinct outlets by conservative media (talk radio and blogs). My impression is that liberal blogs tend to be in some sense larger and more centralized (such as Daily Kos), whereas conservative blogs tend to be more plentiful, smaller, and more decentralized in structure.
Here is the problem that Kerry's strategy will run into in time. Sites like Kos get way more hits than the top conservative blogs. Is this good? Not really. This is centralization and concentration. Spend some time reading Daily Kos, especially the comments. There is some pretty messed up stuff on that site. Is that the kind of site that presidential wannabe Kerry wants to associate himself with in the long run? It's a campaign ad waiting to happen. "John Kerry frequently posts at Daily Kos. Here is what people on that site have to say... Do you want to vote for someone who sides with them?"

The Democrats need to look at history. If they want to be in the White House, they need to look at the most successful modern Democrat: Bill Clinton. He won the White House for two reasons... 1. He could compete and win in the South and 2. He took Republican issues away from them. There hasn't been a Democrat as president since Kennedy who wasn't a Southerner. Unless the nominee is going to do a sweep on the swing states (good luck on that), you've got to be able to win in the South to get to the White House. It also helps to not be a flaming liberal. Bill Clinton was from the South and not a flaming liberal. He won twice. Learn a lesson. Win an election.

EDIT: Speaking of Dem Kos bloggers, here's what Ted Kennedy had to say...
I will not be able to stay in front of the computer, as I have quite a bit to take care of today.
It's Saturday night. Guess what Teddy is doing. It probably involves a bottle, a glass, and a toilet.

It isn't likely that Kerry will win the south, ever.


I don't think Kerry understands the South. He just doesn't get it. Bill Clinton understands it, but he's got the benefit of a lifetime of experience on his side.

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