Monday, July 30, 2007

Blogger fest a magnet for liberal politicos

Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, July 29, 2007
The second annual gathering of the Daily Kos political blog starts this week in Chicago, and here's all you need to know about how influential the YearlyKos convention has become: Five top presidential candidates are going -- including front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, even though the Kos bloggers don't like her that much.
[ Podcast: Durst riffs on the recent CNN-YouTube Democratic debate.]
Analysts say the community of liberal online activists -- the "netroots" -- has become not only a coveted constituency for the left but a legitimate threat to conservatives, who trail Democrats in online campaigning and fundraising.
Another sign of the growing power of the Daily Kos convention is that none of the attending Democratic hopefuls -- including Sens. Barack Obama and Chris Dodd, former Sen. John Edwards and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson -- are scheduled to appear at the Democratic Leadership Council gathering this weekend in Tennessee. The DLC is the moderate organization that former President Bill Clinton led for two years before beginning his successful campaign for the White House in 1992.
"It's hilarious that (Hillary Clinton's) not even attending her own group," said Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga, the Berkeley resident who founded Daily Kos in 2002, and whose nickname, "Kos," supplies the moniker for the blog where 500,000 regularly visit.
Most liberal bloggers detest Clinton for her 2002 vote authorizing President Bush to pursue military action in Iraq. In Daily Kos' monthly presidential straw polls, "No Freaking Clue" frequently has drawn more votes than Clinton.
Yet Clinton's relationship with liberal bloggers may be starting to thaw. This week, she sent her spokesman to defend the Kos bloggers against attacks made by Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly on JetBlue Airways, the convention's most prominent corporate sponsor. And in the latest Kos straw poll of more than 15,000 voters this week, Clinton edged "No Freaking Clue" -- by three percentage points.
While Democrats flock to Kos, conservatives have ramped up their attacks. Last week on "Fox News Sunday," Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative journal the Weekly Standard, described Moulitsas as "the left-wing blogger who was not respectable three or four years ago. Now the whole party is going to pay court to him and to left-wing blogs." Kristol predicted it would hurt the Democrats.
On Friday, the Republican National Committee sent reporters a set of YearlyKos talking points with a headline that read, "Democrat Candidates Plan Panderfest To 'Liberal Partisans' At YearlyKos Convention."
"These guys (the liberal political bloggers) have power now. They can change elections," said Michael Cornfield, adjunct professor in political management at George Washington University and author of "Politics Moves Online: Campaigning."


  1. see you there k.rile

  2. I can't wait for this!!! Welcome to the future of democracy! bill kristol is just jealous cause he's one foot over the hill and two steps to the grave.

    Let's make some bumper stickers that read:
    "Caution: Blogging while Liberal." (c) 2007