Alot of talk about the “In These Times” piece on Sherrod Brown. GrowOhio is obviously pround of it. Russo calls it a puff piece. Both true from their given perspectives.

A couple of things strike me and rub me the wrong way, really.

First off the allusion that bloggers are “cold sores” that you just can’t stop itching:

Brown, who?s been intimately connected to the progressive grassroots for the entirety of his career, evinces more than a little bafflement at the portion of the new blog constituency that has been lobbing rhetorical hand grenades in his direction. ?My wife says it?s like when you have a cold sore, you keep running your tongue over it,? Brown says. ?I keep telling her, ?Connie, stop reading the blogs!? But she can?t help herself.?

I understand one of you is a seasoned legislator and the other a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, but please don’t denigrate what we do in the blogosphere. My guess is the reason you rub your cold sore so much is that it is akin to a crystal ball that makes journalists look like they are plugged in. How many blogs are in your RSS feeder Ms. Shultz? Stop reading the blogs indeed…and keep downplaying them too – at your own peril. If blogs were not important, people wouldn’t try to buy them.

The second thing is this stupid “neutralize” comment:

Upon entering the race, his campaign took out blog ads announcing his candidacy on all of the top progressive blogs. He also hired Jerome Armstrong, formerly of MyDD, and one of the original netroots gurus. He even posted a help wanted ad on the blogs seeking a campaign Web manager. ?Hackett started out with an edge in the blogs,? Brown tells me, ?but we should have that neutralized soon.?

Earth to Sherrod: You should know this better than anyone. You can’t kill an idea, you can’t neutralize something that is born out of the desire to be heard and stand up for something. I think you will find this strategy disheartening in the end. Hackett had/has an advantage in the blogosphere because alot of us found out about him only due to it. Yes, he’s our guy. But more than that, Paul actually has engaged the blogs. Spent some 3 hours commenting with them…something that was even made fun of by Russo and others. But that is just what garners him the kind of support among blogs that you might not find – no matter how much you spend on blogads and how many pictures of Hackett and you people see.

I suggest you get out of the netroots strategy meetings and actually INTO the freaking netroots. Might prove fruitful. I like you man, but as a blogger and progressive I think you are going about this whole thing wrong.

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  • …and I, who originally was a Brown supporter, am feeling drawn more to Hackett day by day. If this is how a campaign that hasn’t officially even started yet is going, that doesn’t bode well for the future of his effort.

    Should Brown fully commit to running for Senate, I’m sure the ship will eventually be righted, but by then it will be too late for many of us fence sitters. We will have already made our decision, and it will be for Paul Hackett. It’s not too late Sherrod. The 13th can still use you!

  • Eric

    i feel like their whole approach online has been bungled thus far, probably due to having netroots meetings instead of just engaging. I’m assured in an email from their “Internet Communications Director” that this will all change soon. I should be having a conversation with him sometime after the holiday break and may even share some of that here, if I’m able.

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