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Hillary Clinton took a look around the blogospheric Left in the midst of its Ned Lamont campaign and decided she needed an ambassador to bloggers, and hired Peter Daou. According to National Journal's Hotline, George Allen's campaign has reached a similar conclusion about the blogospheric Right:
Burned by a blog-induced firestorm over an an off-hand comment at a campaign rally, Sen. George Allen's campaign is seeking a conservative blog maven who can blunt future attacks and help rally conservatives in the state and elsewhere behind Allen's campaign.
The search is one of several steps Allen's brain trust will take in the next few weeks to retool his campaign. Several Republicans close to the campaign said Allen was deeply frustrated at what one Republican called "the inept response and lack of ability of his team to handle crisis management in an effective and professional manner."
Today, Allen's campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, sent allies an e-mail memo blasting the media for refusing to accept Allen's apology. The memo suggests that that the campaign may try to focus support for Allen by portraying him as a victim of a liberal media elite.
"Apparently the media's standard for candidates is now that they must be perfect, not human, and that no mistake or verbal gaffe is to be forgiven, no matter how much the candidate apologize," Wadhams writes in the memo. "Will the Washington Post hold it's candidate for the U.S. Senate to the same standard? We will see, but I'm not holding my breath."
Bloggers have to write quickly and effectively about breaking news stories, the same kinds of skills needed to succeed in political damage control. The more successful bloggers have influence with a number of other bloggers, gaining at least enough credibility for their positions for a fair hearing. For these reasons, I predict that national campaigns will eventually start hiring well-known bloggers for their campaigns, as a necessity for the new political environment that bloggers have created.
Will a blogger help Allen recover from the "macaca" gaffe? It might be a chicken-soup solution: it certainly wouldn't hurt. Ultimately, if candidates go out of their way to say foolish things and exhibit poor judgment, all of the bloggers in the world won't undo the damage. What would help would be a respected voice to broadcast an apology for a single misstep and to provide an explanation that made more sense than the Allen campaign's initial statements provided. In the best possible relationship, a well-connected blogger would have consulted on the response to ensure it didn't make matters worse.
If any conservative bloggers feel like joining Allen's staff, it appears they're very receptive at the moment. If nothing else, it might provide a front-row seat in Senatorial and Presidential politics over the next two years.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on August 23, 2006 9:14 AM
» Henke the Kingmaker? from A Second Hand Conjecture
Captain Ed and Xrlq are suggesting that the Allen campaign, which is looking for a blogger, consider hiring Jon Henke. Somehow I don’t see Jon as interested, but power to him if he wants to cash in. However, if that isn’t what Jon wants to ... [Read More]
Tracked on August 24, 2006 9:57 PM
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