Here on Earth we are worrying about global warming and it’s effects while down in hell apparently they are worried about a freeze. Apparently hell is about to freeze over:

The Sherrod Brown for Senate campaign is set to make a special announcement in Cincinnati Monday July 10th

Please join us for a MAJOR (hint) Democratic Party unity event supporting Congressman Sherrod Brown’s race for the US Senate.

Join Congressional Candidates John Cranley and Victoria Wulson and Democrats from across Southwest Ohio as U.S. Senate Candidate Sherrod Brown recieves an important endorsement in his race against Mike Dewine.

Join us at 2:45pm Monday July 10, at Ted Berry International Friendship Park located at 1101 Eastern Ave.

Please dont miss this opportunity to witness a great moment in the 2006 race!

The park is located just beyond the Montgomery Inn Boathouse. There is plenty of parking.

We hope to see you there!

Yeah, yeah. “Major”…get it? Apparently now Sherrod Brown needs the endorsement of a once swiftboated, kneecut also-ran from OH02. Those internal polls must have stunk up the place.

much more after the break…

Now, I WON’T say the overall news is something I didn’t want to see happen. I asked for it, no begged for it months ago…as did many bloggers. The silence was deafening. Now we have this concerted effort and big push for Brown-Blog Rapprochement. The problem being it is the same old approach being used: divide and conquer.

A recent article at the Huffington Post saw Connie Schultz argue “We Are Not Afraid“. Well, OK, maybe just a little of these damned bloggers. Sherrod has had an open invitation to sit down with more than a single Ohio blogger and put out the forest fire of discontent that was generated in the primary. He has repeatedly declined, using one blogger as an excuse not to do it. When that excuse was removed, he continued to decline.

Sherrod doesn’t want tough questions, nor does he appear big enough to take an active role in healing the divide. He just wants blog love and Hackett mojo. He thinks he is getting both.

Two things trouble me. First is that I’m not sure how you go from “hell freezes over” to endorsement and not lose some amount of credibility. But then again, there is little wiggle room when you use such language. The edge on the hard talking marine is bound to get dulled a bit by all this.

The second, and possibly more troubling aspect of this is the divide and conquer netroots strategy employed by the Brown campaign from day one. They obviously wanted to get some blog love and have been working on a rapprochement plan for some time. Instead of doing smart outreach and talking to us all, they’ve chose to try to cherry pick amongst them.

So now there is a big kumbaya interview with one of the biggest original Hackett backers and the OH02 blogger.

There are two problems with this as I see it. One – Chris Baker of OH02 blog lives in OH03. So when he blogs from the “front lines of Democracy”, he gets in his car to get there. The perception now that Sherrod picked up blog mojo from a guy down in Hackett’s district is, well, not what it might seem. No law broken in blogging about somewhere you don’t live (I do it all the time), but the perception might not be what it seems. Maybe now we can get some really good Dayton/Studebaker stuff going? I’d love to see that. I respect Chris, but I’m left with the feeling that he got used and played here. I talked to him a bit and we clearly disagree on some of this, but like we talked about – our strength is more in our disagreements anyway.

The second big problem is that for the price of ignoring the rest of us via the shun to MTB, Brown now gets to portray himself as a candidate in tune with the blogs. Nothing could be further from the truth. When two of us walked up to him at the ODP State Dinner and were prepared to ask him “how do we come together to beat this DeWine guy?”, he acted as if we were completely invisible. I don’t say that as some clever rhetorical trick. The guy literally looked through us and walked away. It was the most bizarre thing.

Let’s take a look at the things we wanted to see and asked for in many places, one being at PBD. Note that this was in late February, some 13 days after the Valentines Day Massacre. Action was needed by then, but nothing came.

As far as we know (and there is ample evidence), Sherrod Brown did not reach out to Paul Hackett and immediately right the ship. I also missed a statement by the Brown camp praising Paul for his service and asking for his support.

There was absolutely zero reaching out to Hackett supporters, online and off as far as I know. Things just pretty much went silent and for that Brown got bad press after bad press as Hackett continued to vent. Again, it is the responsibility of Brown in this case to do this.

We in the blogs also asked Sherrod to stop “neutralizing” and start communicating. Meet The Bloggers was offered to deaf ears…again and again.

Is this an opportunity TAKEN by the Brown camp? Sure it is, but it follows more in the neutralization model than the communication model. Will there come a huge groundswell of support and work on the blogs for Brown? My guess is not. The usual players along with Chris now seem to be in position to carry some of the water, but my bucket still has holes in it. Big ass holes.

So once again Brown camp, the offer STILL remains on the table. Do a Meet The Bloggers session. Here is the address in case you missed it: I’m sure we could even line up a MTB debate with your opponent…or at least organize it and make the offer.

I hear you guys are not afraid, so the time is now to show us and show up.

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