Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Why presidential candidate weblogs aren't working by Dave Winer

My response;

Given the tone in Washington, no candidate can really be him/herself. Yes, we want to feel connected to them. No, we don?t want to be marketed to.

Recognize that the blog is a tool, and use it as that. Acting like their blog is a look into what they really are thinking is a joke as long as they are running everything through a campaign staff.

I do think that it is possible for a freshman congressman to blog, and do it well. That is only if they start blogging before they get to DC. Can you imagine if they blogged about their disgust at how petty the fighting can be, or how they have no way reading the bill that they are voting on. I would love to have access to their thought process beyond the talking points memo. Why they voted up or down on an issue. Getting past the sound byte.

When politicians can be honest, then we will see their human side. But as long as the supermajority of voters only respond with knee-jerk reactions, they wont be able to handle an honest blog from a veteran politician.

The first person that I thought of that I could imagine writing a blog from DC was Linda Smith.

Go read her Bio then come back.

I remember seeing her on a platform with Ross Perot discussing campaign finance reform on CSPAN in 1995.

Linda Smith's strong belief that politicians should not be "for sale" by lobbyists caused her to launch the "Clean Congress Campaign" in her first year. More importantly, she believed so strongly that she quit taking any money herself from these special interests. Nevertheless, Linda won re-election in 1996 without taking any special interest money.

This is a woman with integrity. And there are more like her, you just don't see them. They get hounded by their party leaders for not selling out. They don't get funding from the party because they are not a "team player".

If those voices can start blogs, we can really change the tone in DC. Of course the party would never allow such impudence. That why it needs to be started by those that have real grassroots campaigns.