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Friday, July 07, 2006

Sherrod Brown and the Blogs

Ohio Congressman and Senate nominee Sherrod Brown has a long and shameful record of fighting against Ohio's Democratic blogosphere. The Editor of the Ohio 2nd blog has a good (and long overdue) interview with Brown on his senate campaign. But I agree with BSB:

Well done to Editor for prying Brown out of his blogosphere shell, an interesting read that I might have some thoughts on later, but a more important thought occurred to me after reading this.

It's like Blogosphere plan A redux. Talk to individual bloggers, divide and conquer. All I can say is - don't make the same mistake twice Sherrod.

Scott Bakalar went on hunger strike and never got a email - the guy must be devastated by this news :)

Meet the Bloggers has a long standing open invitation to Brown to sit down and tape a session.

It's time Brown did that. Sit down with all of us, answer questions (As Editor showed - we don't bite and aren't looking for a gotcha moment - it's never happened at a MTB).

That is what I think is needed now.

I actually think it was needed when it was scheduled six months ago, but Brown got cold feet (surprise) and chickened out at the last minute:

This is a very foolish move, if you ask me. This was his chance to hit one out of the park with the Ohio Blogosphere. In the past Russo was one of Brown's most passionate defenders. He went into the neutral category in reaction to Brown's online efforts with out of state consultants. At the time I thought that he was wrong both on his reasons for supporting Brown and his criticisms. Given the bungles since then I grew to see that he might well have a point.

I hate to say it, but this is just plain corwardly. Many of the people there are (are?) some of his most vocal supporters online. Real supporters; not paid, out of state consultants. Real Ohio bloggers that believe in everything that Brown stands for. If Russo started pulling any crap, they would have ripped him to shreds and helped make Brown look like a hero. (All captured on tape for posterity) This was his chance to win some major points online, laughing off the incident and moving on to taking back Ohio. Instead he chose to continue to wallow in THIS STUPID STORY. He's had so many chances to put this thing behind him. The story has received no traction in the main stream press. Get it behind you. Show that you are above this. God Lord, you make small talk every working day with people who are responsible for sending thousands of American soldiers to die for a lie and you can't sit down with a former supporter who is upset with how you've run your campaign? Hell, I'm upset with how you're running your campaign and I'm rooting against you. We want you to step up. We want you to lead. If you do win the primary we want you to walk happily towards the toughest fight of your political career comfortable with the knowledge that the people that once fought you now have your back against the meanest players in the country. How can we do that if you won't even stand up to us?

De Mango Opere said at the time:

George Nemeth of BFD has the news that Sherrod Brown has cancelled his appointed meeting with... Meet the Bloggers. And he did it through one of his peons. Nice.

I like Sherrod Brown, but what comes next comes born of frustration... months of frustration.

Representative Brown: Go back to the 13th and serve your constituents man. Leave Senatorial politics to people who can handle it. Ohio not only deserves better - Ohio needs better.

Plunderbund said:

Fellow bloggers are mostly saying that this is a blown opportunity and I have to agree strongly. I will go one further and say that this is also pathetic and stupid, reinforcing comments made to me previous that the Brown campaign was being run by rank amateurs. This move is complete bullshit and hopefully will resonate across the national blogosphere and even get some coverage in traditional media.

Buckeye Senate Blog:

Well I went to bed early and came to work, to discover Sherrod Brown has decided to not do Meet The Bloggers. Can't say as I am all that surprised. He has had bad advice from day one. [...]

What Brown's decision demonstrates is a lack of courage. Was he so uncertain of his own behaviour he couldn't be trusted in a room full of Democrats asking him policy questions ? Is he too concerned about having his actual record of accomplishment probed ? It would appear so.

We live in trying times, and such times call for men and women of courage to stand up, show up and lead. Sherrod Brown has proven yesterday he is not that man, it is not in his character. Even worse he had to hide his cowardice behind the skirt of his wife, just as he tried to hide his previous behaviour behind anonymous posters.

Sherrod Brown just failed his first real test, in spectacular fashion.

Brown screwed up by chickening out on Meet the Bloggers in January and while a single interview with a supportive bloggers (doing a yeoman's job of trying to pull people together) is a start, what really needs to happen is for Brown to reschedule an appearance at Meet the Bloggers.

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