Am I a great dad, or what? I mean, really… how many dads manage to get a picture of their daughter’s beloved teddy bear into the local paper? Sure, I’m somewhere in the picture too, but well… been there, done that.
Of course, the accompanying story isn’t about my daughter’s teddy bear at all… it’s about how us local bloggers are beginning to impact local politics.
Democratic congressional candidate Darcy Burner can’t match the public-service record of her Republican opponent, Rep. Dave Reichert, but she can make one claim in their contest that’s hers alone: She used to be a blogger.
That experience, and the Internet savvy that goes along with it, has led Burner to reach out actively to the regional left-leaning blogger network — a connection that may have played a key role in helping her meet a crucial fund-raising target. The Burner-blogger relationship could point the way to the political future, in which Web-based activism exercises a growing influence over regional, statewide and even national elections.
The Seattle P-I‘s Gregory Roberts describes how WA state’s emerging local blogosphere is beginning to inch from advocacy to full blown activism, and I remain convinced that if the “netroots” are going to have a major impact on local politics, it’s going to happen here first.
The Burner fund-raising drive could signal a change in the blogs’ role, Goldstein said.
“We’ve been doing advocacy; now we’re finally going to see some sort of impact in terms of activism,” he said.
“The blogosphere is just maturing to the point where we can get people out there moving, and digging into their pockets.”
Man, that David Goldstein guy really knows what he’s talking about.
No doubt Burner deserves most of the credit for her strong fundraising and growing buzz, but it’s clear we’ve contributed something to her early success. And while I don’t want to over-hype the impact of bloggers in the current election cycle, I do think that some critics are missing the larger picture:
To Clay Shirky, an adjunct professor in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, the larger question is whether blogs can change voting patterns.
Their rabid partisanship attracts mostly true believers, and they end up screeching to the choir.
“Blogs are good for motivating the base,” Shirky said. “They’re not good for convincing swing voters.”
Yeah, well… maybe so. But motivating the base is exactly what Burner needed in the early going. Her task was to convince Democrats that she could excite people… that she could raise money… that she could win. And with our help, Burner did exactly that.
Convincing the swing voters, well, that’s Burner’s job. But at least now she’ll have a chance to do it on a more equal footing.
I just saw a PDF of the P-I‘s front page, and all I can say to Stefan is: mine’s bigger than yours. (Also, both Apple Computer and the fisherman glove industry owe me a promotional fee.)