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Monday, August 15, 2005

MSNBC Looks at the Changing Nature of Campaigns

Tom Curry notices the times they are a changing:

The work of such bloggers as Bob Brigham of points toward a day when the traditional campaign — tailored by Washington-based consultants, centered on 30-second TV ads, with fund-raising driven by Washington-based party committees — might become obsolete.

The significance of what Democratic bloggers doing is proven by the attention Republican and conservative operatives are paying to them.

Assessing the blogger’s role in the Hackett race, David Keating, executive director of the Club for Growth, a conservative group that supports low-tax candidates, said, “It’s a tremendously significant development. The fact that several hundred thousand dollars is raised by people outside the party system is significantly helpful to any candidate.”

“We’re looking at what they did to learn as much as we can,” he said.

"The blogosphere's most profound impact in Ohio was its ability to raise money and to give Hackett the tools to get his voice heard, when traditionally a candidate like that would never have had that kind of money and simply wouldn't have been competitive," said Simon Rosenberg, head of the New Democrat Network.

Clearly, the barriers to competitiveness are far easier to circumvent with the internet.

A self-employed communications consultant, Brigham, worked for the campaign of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, as well as for Democratic congressional candidate Virginia Schrader last year in Pennsylvania, and did a stint working for the Democratic Party in Montana.

What Brigham and fellow blogger Tim Tagaris did for Hackett’s campaign, apart from helping raise money and generating excitement about the potential for an upset victory in Ohio, was to use their blog to respond to efforts to question whether Hackett had really served in Iraq.

While it was the money that has caught everyone's attention, an internet styled networked campaign also has as much potential to progress from the top-down structure in other departments, especially communications and field.

-By Bob Brigham

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