"...it's real and dynamic and open. It's democratic. And if you're interested in politics, it keeps you looking forward to opening your laptop each morning."
Andrew Sullivan has written what I consider to be a brilliant piece on the shift in political influence via modern media wars. Sullivan cites three genuinely new power-brokers in American politics and culture in this election season. They are cable news, the blogosphere, and "527s".
• Bloggers: Andrew believes you've arrived. How does it feel to sit at the wheel of democracy?
• Do you believe you have more of a political voice with the blogosphere and 527s?
• Do you believe your chosen political "side" is doing a good job in the mainstream arena?
• Any other comments?
There is an interview about political ads at Mother Jones that I found to be fascinating. The interviewee is Bill Hillsman, who made his name in political advertising with spots (featuring candidates such as Paul Wellstone and Jesse Ventura) that bucked the tired old formulas and really got people talking.
MJ.com: Which presidential campaign do you expect will do a better job reaching swing voters?
BH: I think Bush’s campaign will be better at it. They were in 2000, the Republicans were absolutely better at that during the 2002 midterm elections, and Bush’s people are just better at it than Kerry’s people. In fact, I don’t think Kerry wins unless some independent groups come in and do a good job with those voters. But if you look at what’s been going on so far with the Media Fund people and the MoveOn people, they can’t get out of the way of themselves. They don’t really know how to do ads that are aimed at these swing voters because they’re not those types of people. So they sort of do these “anybody but Bush” ads that have no real relevance to independents or swing voters. All they’re really doing is spending a lot of money to talk to their base, which is already convinced.
• What kind of Kerry ads would you imagine swing voters would be drawn to?
• What issues would best motivate swing voters to vote for Kerry in November?
"Bush's campaign has mastered at least one of Sun Tzu's ancient rules of warfare: When you are weak, appear strong."
Many people on the left believe that John Kerry should have answered the president this summer by saying no, he would not have gone to war in Iraq, knowing what he knows today. Writer Steve Sebelius suggests it would have shown that Kerry has learned something, and is putting it into practice.
I often complain that our current president makes many errors of judgement, then stands by them, even when we all can see clear evidence to the contrary.
This is not proof of an inherently wise leader.
This causes me to ask the question:
The Bush campaign points to and mocks John Kerry, who, in real time, is putting into practice all he's learning before the eyes of the world, regardless of their characterization of him as "flip-flopper".
At Raw Story, Avery Walker has some advice for the overrated blogosphere.
"I love oxblog, wonkette, iddybud and American Amnesia as much as the next guy. More, in fact. These people find stories that have otherwise slipped through the cracks and follow them with a tenacity that print journalists sorely lack. But we have to remember that these people have some of the best blogs out there. Many of these bloggers are, in fact, writers and journalists who use their blog as a way of expressing themselves outside of the restrictions of print media.