Commentor Sniper, who sadly appears to not have a blog, over at Pandagon in the thread to new contributor Sheelzebub’s first post, an evisceration of lazy sexist stereotyping of men as clueless slobs that women are obliged to rescue.
OK, Purcell isn’t very funny, but he IS clearly labeled as “humor”, and frankly, the tone of the article strikes me as pretty tongue-in-cheek.
Excellent. I’m going to write “taut” on a sticker and put it on my ass.
Sheelzebub (Pinko Feminist Hellcat) has joined the Pandagon crew along with a posse of progressive wordsmiths: Chris Clarke (Creek Running North), Auguste
Pollak (oops) (The Guns of Auguste), Roxanne (Vox Populi) and Ilyka Damen. They’ve joined the Pandagon crew to help pad out the writing roster now that the ultra-prolific Amanda Marcotte has been tapped by the John Edwards presidential campaign as Blogmaster (in a further display of excellent taste, the Edwards campaign has also nabbed Melissa McEwan aka Shakespeare’s Sister as Netroots Coordinator).
The Edwards campaign appears to be just quietly rolling along at the moment while the current excitement with Clinton and Obama fills the headlines, but we’re a long way from any actual primaries yet, so why not wait for a lull to properly strut his stuff? I’m not an American voter, but I admit to being disappointed that he didn’t get the Democratic nomination in 2004.
Phoenician in a time of Romans argues that the Edwards campaign’s choice shows a fundamentally different plan for using bloggers than has been done in the past (previous bloggers recruited to campaign staff have given up blogging on their own sites, but neither Amanda nor Melissa plan to do so, although they know they won’t have as much time for their blogs now).
It’s not just the people who read Pandagon and Shakespeares Sister directly, it’s the flow-on effect – many of those in the audience also blog, and are opinion leaders, and by associating the campaign with these two high-profile bloggers, the campaign is disseminating a specific image to a key audience. This was not the case when Kos was picked up as a consultant or when he endorses candidates – Kos is selling his expertise and his central role as a tactician for Democratic-leaning voters. Marcotte and McEwan are selling their alignment with the Edward’s campaign, implicitly stating that his views are in sync with the political personas they have established and explicitly communicating based on people’s prior understandings of their positions.
Phoenician’s delineation of the distinctions between this situation and Kos’ consultancy work is persuasive. Kos holds himself out as the tactical expert, and as a partisan coordinator. Amanda and Melissa have always been more issues-based than purely partisan, although issues and partisanry have often happily overlapped. If Edwards has identified issues-based swingvoting netizens as a key demographic for him, then choosing Amanda and Melissa to spearhead his web campaign is very canny indeed, as they are hugely influential in the progressive blogtopia.
And that’s not all. From my own typically more cynical view, the fact that Amanda makes certain RWDB wingnut bloggers’ knees jerk in a frenzied fashion can’t be underrated either. They are going to be attacking the posts on the Edwards campaign blog much more often and more wildly just because it’s Amanda writing them, then the progressives who in their turn love to mock the wingnuts will be countering the wingnut bile, thus spreading Edwards’ messages further and wider amongst potential Democratic primary voters.
Win, as they say, win.
Related post at Larvatus Prodeo: Blogging Politics