The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Hillary Tries Reaching Out To Lefty Blogs; Gets Hand Bitten


I had missed this fascinating little tiff between Hillary’s campaign and some liberal bloggers. BlogPI did the legwork, and offers details:

While I am quite sure I did not locate every ad on every blog, the initial buy was worth at least $17,026 across at least 45 blogs. The buy comprised political blogs almost exclusively, liberal blogs overwhelmingly, and primarily those with a national reach. Nearly every liberal blog above 50,000 impressions per week picked up a blogad, though a few did not (as we’ll see below) and at least a few regional and small-traffic blogs also were included. The campaign bought some Premium ads (which are guaranteed to be the top ads visible) on liberal sites but generally stuck with the Standard ads, and went with the bargain buys on each of the conservative blogs included. And how many conservative blogs was that? I counted just four: Hugh Hewitt, Power Line, Captain’s Quarters and Wizbang Politics (i.e. not the front page), each worth between 550,000 and 150,000 impressions per week for a total $1,150.

You figure one of the reasons the Hillary campaign hired Peter Daou as their Blog Guy was because he was willing to try to garner traffic and attention in unexpected ways. He tried advertising on a few right-of-center blogs in order to generate attention to her first webchat. As a result, the left-of-center blogs who didn’t get ads were livid.


Blog PI’s William Beutler took those bloggers to task.

And to editorialize for a moment, there is something unseemly about complaining that an advertiser did not buy ads on one’s site. Daou and the Clinton team are under no obligation to buy ads on anybody’s site. Yes, Marsh is a member of the netroots in good standing — she has worked for the SEIU and MyDD to cover a labor dispute in Las Vegas — but the same is true of dozens of other bloggers whom Clinton missed on the first round. As Daou said to me, it’s impossible to buy on every site. And at least as of this morning, Marsh has made no acknowledgment of her inclusion in the next phase of the Clinton ad buy.

If it’s not exactly extortion, it does betray the kind of myopic egocentrism that establishment Democrats use — sometimes as an excuse, sometimes not — to keep the netroots at bay.

I realize I’m the wrong guy to assess the thinking of left-of-center bloggers. It’s not just the obvious ideological gap between their views and mine; I think even more it’s a temperament gap. Hillary’s choice to spend $1,150 on advertising on four conservative sites is taken as the latest outrage, the latest sign of her betrayal, the latest reason she can’t be trusted, etc.


If I’m Hillary Clinton, dealing with the lefty netroots looks like a lose-lose. If I ignore them, I’m arrogant. If I reach out to them, all of my efforts to win them over will always leave someone out who will then interpret it as a deliberate slight, an exclusion that reveals my flaws and biases, and bang the drum that I’m attempting to corrupt the ones I’ve reached out to.


What the Democratic party has with their netroot bloggers is hundreds of people all kvetching at the same time, “Why aren’t they listening to me? Jeez, it’s so obvious! God! What is wrong with these people?! These morons don’t know how to run a campaign! Their latest decision doesn’t appeal to me, so obviously it’s a failure! God, what a bunch of out-of-touch inside-the-beltway elitists they are!”


In other blogger news, the new staff blogger of the John Edwards campaign just wrote, flat-out, that the Duke Lacrosse players were guilty. No “alleged,” no “I think,” just asserted that that was the case, which seems to be a pretty clear-cut basis for a libel suit.


Don’t worry. I’m sure that comment will go over well in North Carolina.


UPDATE: Two other bits of blogging news. Rudy’s web guy Patrick Ruffini evaluates the web sites of Obama, Hillary, Edwards (and in an earlier post, Biden) here.


And obviously, many bloggers aren’t enthused about John McCain’s views on campaign finance reform, and what McCain-Feingold wrought. The good folks at the Center For Individual Freedom have set up a new blog, $traight Talk, that focuses on whether McCain will partake in the presidential public financing system (that sets up limits on spending) after McCain has spent the past decade putting up all kinds of obstacles for people who wish to donate to the candidate of their choice.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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