Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Strategy vs. Pandering

So Edwards hires Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, the right wing kicks into smear mode, and now there's a dither as to whether these two will be fired or kept on and the netroots has its collective panties in a bunch huffily denouncing Edwards for not standing up to the right. They caterwaul over the double standard of the rightwing adoring its psychopaths while the left is ashamed of its own, and how they will support Edwards if he keeps the bloggers and will hate him forever and vote against him if he does not.

Like, duh, what did anyone with two brain cells to rub together think was going to happen?

The point here is that you hire for strategic reasons. Neither of these women had anything of substance to offer a presidential campaign. Sorry, they just don't. Fun to read for a well turned snark, but neither is a terrribly original or compelling thinker, neither has worked enough in the web industry to have picked up technical or marketing strategy chops, and both of them come with the usual exploitable baggage that anyone with a Blogger account and a smart mouth can claim. Their standing in the blogosphere garners Edwards little extra support, drives away people who think, and makes him a hostage to the most irrational, petulant and vindictive part of the netroots.

This is superficial pandering based on a myopic view of the netroots. I wonder if Edwards understands that large numbers of political junkies like me think people like Marcotte are dumb shits, endlessly recycling their stale opinions to the Greek chorus in their comments section? McEwan has absolutely zero presence in my blog awareness. I've read the blog, but couldn't tell you a single post of hers that stood out. Hiring two dull and tedious bloggers says to me you don't respect your readers and are just trying to toss a bone to the worst elements of the netroots left.

Compare this fiasco to Sen. Clinton's hire of Peter Daou. The only news was all the flak Daou took for signing on with someone so (irrationally) hated by the netroots. Of course he was brought on for his connections to the blogosphere, but I dare say this is someone who can advise and not just advertise. I'd be curious to know if he played a part in her decision to announce her candidacy via her website.

What Edwards did with his choice of these two was cement my opinion that he is not a candidate to be taken seriously. It doesn't matter to me what choice Edwards makes. His first mistake was in hiring either of these second tier scolds in the first place.


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