Edwards in blogland

Senator Edwards has launched a blog. Built on Slash, with ratings, and a special icon to signal staff postings, the site has local (well, state) blogs linked to the national blog as well.

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19 Responses to Edwards in blogland

  1. The latest Lloyd Dangle Troubletown cartoon plays with the idea of a non-neutral electrical system:


    Its Sept 4 now, not sure how long the strip will be up.

  2. Ed Lyons says:

    I’m glad he has a blog – and that the icons will make it clear that the posts are from people who are not going to be objective about the Senator. (staff vs. volunteers – a distinction without a difference)

    But this isn’t really the “John Edwards” blog – it’s the “People who are supporting Edwards” blog. That sure is much less interesting than having an unedited dose of what the candidate really believes (such as what we saw from Congressman K. when he guest-blogged here).

    I also wonder when something isn’t really “blogging” anymore. If all posts have to get done by or get through the true believers (and then get cleaned up) – then what, really is it other than an approved aggregation of campaign activities? (It’s not like we’re going to see a blog entry talking about an incident where the Senator gets booed at a local rally by a group of obstetricians who want malpractice-related tort reform)

  3. S. King says:

    Ed, there are many blogs with political and ideological slants. Why should this one be exempt? Especially since they make it obvious that its purpose is a discussion area for Edwards supporters.

  4. KB says:

    The blog looks great. Good for Edwards. And he’s leading in the South Carolina polls. He may catch on yet!

  5. Ed Lyons says:

    A fair point, M(r/s) King. Everyone has a slant – although at some point a slant becomes an agenda and is less interesting. (I am glad that the Edwards campaign is very up-front about what the blog is and who gets to write what. )

    Professor Lessig has more slant than agenda – therefore I am often pleasantly surprised at the things he blogs about. He’s also not worried about a consistent message – or making unpopular remarks.

    Blogs are often more interesting because they tend to be more honest and less homogenized than other formats. But how interesting is an official campaign blog if the entries tend to be in this format?:

    “Hello America! Today we’re here at [insert some quaint American location]. We had a great trip here on [train, bus, plane] and we’re a little tired, but very happy to see [number] of [insert candidate’s name] supporters who traveled [distance] to show their support. It’s hard to believe that even in [state, region] we’ve been able to gather [number] volunteers and [dollars] in campaign donations. So we arrived and were suprised to discover [harmless, witty, non-sarcastic observation] about the people here. But still, they were [warm, patronizing compliment] folks who want a better America. We went to the [local, planned campaign event] where the [candidate] talked to [some group of average citizens] about [campaign issues] and where said, [applause line]. After the [event], the funniest thing happened. [insert anecdote involving staff and/or local people] It was a good time all around and we really enjoyed [eating some local food/seeing some local attraction]. Whew! Only [number] more [of events] before [some campaign milestone]. We’ll write again soon! Keep up the good work everyone!”

  6. Mike Kasper says:

    Ed, rest assured. My posts at least will not be of the format you describe. Most of the posts from the official Edwards staffers have been of this format, so far, too:

    Here is some news or an editorial.
    Here is our take on the subject.
    Click here to tell us what you think.

    See for yourself: blog.johnedwards2004.com

  7. Mike says:

    David, do you count yourself among the “liberal crazies” for supporting Dean? I’ve seen Edwards speak to people in New Hampshire, and the vast majority go away impressed, having walked in undecided voters. Fortunately, the early primary states still rely on voter interaction, and a hard look at the candidates, not hype. Edwards still has very good prospects.

  8. criticalwords says:

    Did anyone see Howard Dean…SNAP…on George Steph. on ABC’s this week???

    It stunned George who was just being his normal cordial self.

    Dean is a ticking timebomb, and I have been telling people for months.

    I wish the media would cover Dean’s…ANTICS…as much as they do his…BS!

  9. criticalwords says:

    Did anyone see Howard Dean…SNAP…on George Steph. on ABC’s this week???

    It stunned George who was just being his normal cordial self.

    Dean is a ticking timebomb, and I have been telling people for months.

    I wish the media would cover Dean’s…ANTICS…with the same focus as they do his…BS! If they aren’t then quit flashing his stumpy piehole across the television screen!

  10. Rob says:

    Well we’ve drifted far afield from the Edwards blog, but I’m bored and there’s no new topic from Prof. Lessig so…

    Looks like David has conclusively proven that he’s not a Dean supporter; in fact he’s probably not a Democrat supporter, period. Who *do* you support, David?

    David has missed the point. I don’t think anyone (except maybe Kucinich) has said that they “prefer that our country be militarily weak and impotent.” What they do prefer is a foreign policy that tries to respect our allies’ positions, not one that runs roughshod over their interests in the name of “leadership.” The Bush foreign policy reminds me of the end of the movie “Patton,” where Gen. Patton expresses his disgust at all the “pussy-footing about the damned Russians” and says if given permission he can have us at war with them within 24 hours and make it look like their fault. Allies be damned, American interests are the only thing that count; if you want to help us fine, we’ll accept any help you want to offer, but if you don’t fully back our party line too bad as we’re going to go forward anyway. We absolutely should feel ashamed about our “liberation” of the Iraqi people; by going in there with no clue about how to deal with the aftermath, or even any real conception of what that aftermath might be, we have tossed out one cruel dictator and set the stage for another oppressive regime (probably a religious oligarchy like Iran has) to take over when we ultimately leave. How then have we helped the Iraqi people, other than to raise their hopes of freedom a second time only to carelessly fumble away the opportunity by mismanagement and miscalculation?

    I’ve never read Gore Vidal or Noam Chomsky (I think I had to read a Chomsky piece in college once, but I don’t remember it). My intellectual hero is probably Michael Harrington, though I try to keep an open mind about whatever issue is raised for discussion; I think it’s important to avoid being “captured” by any particular -ism or ideology. In my opinion our country *is* far too capitalist and belligerent; we no longer stand for freedom and equality of opportunity for all. Increasingly we stand for freedom and equality of opportunity if you have the money to pay for it and/or the power to secure it, otherwise too bad for you.

    I find myself starting to support Howard Dean not because I agree with everything he stands for, certainly not for how he handled his stint as a “guest” here, but because he seems to be the candidate who seems the most genuine (without going overboard like Kucinich). Initially I thought I would be supporting John Kerry, who I immensely respected from watching his Senate speeches on C-SPAN. But Kerry has not been very visible in Texas, while Dean has been visible everywhere; even in a state he has no hope of winning like Texas. I think that says something about his character. I want a president who represents all the people, even those who live in states that don’t vote for him. So far, that’s Dean for me.

  11. Ed Lyons says:

    Well, trying to pull us somewhat back to the blogging issue, I would say this: we now have 11 candidates (counting GWB) and maybe even Hillary will jump in. I think the Internet is already proving itself a new and valuable tool in fundraising. You could also say that decentralized organizing is working well for some candidates. But what about communication? In the past, there was television, radio, newspapers, in-person appearances and direct mail. But now we have the Internet: websites, blogs, live chat and email.

    How does the Internet change campaigns? Does communcation through the Internet allow for a richer, more sophisticated campaign platform? If all you have is television ads, direct mail, and signs, you cannot afford to stray beyond war, crime, health care and jobs. You’ll never hear a candidate talk about whether we should build a superconducting supercollider, whether we should go to Mars, whether we should reform the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

    I believe that through new communication technologies, a candidate can say much more than before and at a whole different level of detail. He can blog not only personal feelings, but also visit specific blogging communities and address their issues. Some candidates (like Dean) are already proving that the Internet is changing the game when it comes to fundraising and organizing. But what about communication? Will candidates who don’t get let into traditional debates be able to make their presence known on the ‘net – making the traditional media gatekeepers less important? (One guy not invited to a California recall debate ended up answering the questions in real time on his website)

    For me the question is: will the net improve the quality of our politics (through openness, availability and sophistication) or will it make things worse (greater manipulation, increased chaos from decentralization)?

  12. Mike says:

    I think you can make the case that in some ways the internet has hurt the true public debate, simply because it is so new and chaotic. It has the potential to a let non-establishment candidates like Edwards and Dean get their message across. However, is it better for our democracy if one candidate gets all the media attention because his supporters are connected on the web, while another candidate is ignored because his supporters are not as internet literate? I think we still have a digital divide, so I don’t see how that could make for a better democracy, especially when the self fulfilling media stories of web success are about PROCESS, not POLICY. You could say the same about fundraising, though. It’s as much about trying to get attention as it is about trying to solve the real problems the nation is facing, and that’s really a shame. In the long run, I think the internet will be more evenly used, and as internet literacy rises, so will participatory democracy.

  13. Mike says:

    For all who might be interested, I just saw the first post by John Edwards to the Edwards for President blog. Check it out:


  14. plasmastate says:

    Prof, glad to see your getting into rough ‘n’ tumble politics. I hear too many profs who talk and talk from the sideline, but you are jumping (slowly) into the action. Here’s to Lawrence Lessig, Head of Patents and Copyrights in the Dean Administration. But don’t worry, we’ll let David Boies be your deputy, to handle hatchet jobs. You can guide copyright and patents out of the Dumps of Midnight into the Gardens of Freedom. I’ll get back to being a math major now…

  15. sdbfordean says:

    “How does the Internet change campaigns? Does communcation through the Internet allow for a richer, more sophisticated campaign platform?”

    Here’s a related one. I’m writing an article for a local magazine (www.whatsupmagazine.org) on the Dean campaign (which I am also active in). I wanted quotes from other supporters, so I posted some questions on blogforamerica.com. (It’s on the “Trippi on CNBC at 9 PM Eastern” thread if you’re curious.) I’ve gotten a bunch of responses and will use some for the article. Response has been particularly good to the question “If the Dean campaign was an ice cream cone, what flavor would it be and why?”. If I remember I’ll post a link to the article here when it’s finished.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bush has a blog too, but no comments.

    Check out:

    “Comments 4 W: the missing comments for Bush’s blog”


  17. Zinsky says:

    Interesting about the ice cream flavor. If edwards were an ice cream flavor, he’d be some kind so smooth southern pecan with a hint bold praline. I may be wrong about this, but when this guy heats up it is going to be for real. Debate after debate, he proves to be the most solid and comfortable in his own skin. For Gore lovers like myself, I can’t stress the importance of this enough.

  18. paulie says:

    It is great to read about the activities on the campaign trail. The more postive comments I read the more I am considering supporting Sen. Edwards.

  19. Ganga Na says:

    edwards is an excellent candidate for president, but this is why you should vote Bush even if you’re a democrat. if a democratic candidate wins in ’04 then Hillary Clinton cannot run in ’08 unless the democratic president that wins fails miserably in some way. i think i would much rather have a historic event that has had no precedent like a women president to happen, which is why even democrats should vote for george bush in ’04, so that hillary clinton can run and win in ’08. if there is anyone who should be the first women president in the history of the united states it should be hillary clinton. imagine all the women in this country who could vicariously live through that achievement, especially those who have had unfaithful husbands. i would bet that if george bush were to win in ’04 and knowing that hillary would probably run and win in ’08, he would have the country and the rest of the world running excellently and even spit-shined as any good cowboy would for a lady.


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