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Friday, August 05, 2005

CNN Political Play of the Week

This is pretty cool, CNN's Political Play of the Week:

Netroots activism. Ever hear of it?

You will. Because this week marks its arrival as a force in American politics. It can claim the political Play of the Week.

The blogosphere is supposed to be the realm of anarchy. Bloggers are said to be fierce individualists, spouting off online. Sitting in the park. Alone.

Like Bob Brigham. He and his partner Tim Tagaris run a Democratic blog called Brigham is in San Francisco. Tagaris is in Ohio.

They never met until this year when they discovered a cause, or more precisely, a candidate -- Democrat Paul Hackett, running in a special election for an Ohio congressional seat that most national Democrats wrote off as hopeless.

While Tim and I have spend dozens of hours on the phone and sent countless emails, it is true that we never actually met until the OH-02 Special Election.

The liberal blogs got organized.

"A hundred to 150 bloggers helped raise money, turned out volunteers, got people down to the district and emailed their friends in Ohio," said Bob Brigham of

Ever hear of a blogswarm?

According to CNN blog reporter Jacki Schechner, "This was a pretty decent example of a lot of people getting behind one thing at exactly the same time." A blogswarm.

A word I wouldn't have expected to hear on CNN a year ago.

On the final day of the campaign they needed $30,000. "So Bob from Swing State sent out an email, made phone calls, said, 'Here is what we need, we need $30,000 in a very short period of time.'" Schechner said. "And the next day, ActBlue delivered a check for $60,000."

ActBlue is a Web site that raises money for Democrats.

In the end, Hackett lost. But he came a whole lot closer than Washington pros expected him to.

"This was a success," Hackett said in his concession speech. "We should all be proud, so let's rock on."

People often compare the Internet to the Wild West. Here's an update.

"The lone gunslingers of the blogosphere could work as a posse, and that's what let us raise an army," Brigham said. And carry off the political Play of the Week.

Crooks and Liars has the video

UPDATE: Now on Youtube.

-By Bob Brigham

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