After taking part in the "Blog to the Chief" panel at the Dole Institute for Politics last week Jerome Armstrong writes that one thing that became evident during the discussion regarding the Presidential campaigns is that none of the panel participants expect much by the '08 contenders in regards to either campaign blogs or their blogging.
“There is an expectation of blogger outreach, and interacting with the existing blog communities, but a campaign is just not going to be able to compete with community blogs that have been longer standing and represent a more authentic interaction. Dean's Blog For America was the first successful campaign blog, and maybe the last (a Barack Obama's social networking site is not going to replace, or even compete, with Facebook). I just don't see interesting blogging happening from within a campaign, and certainly that's the lesson from the Edwards bloggers debacle,” Armstrong writes.
“I say this with one caveat. If a candidate blogged, that might be interesting, but it's not practical give the verbal habit of politicians-- they don't write much at all. However, if any of the candidates take up reality-based vlogging on a daily basis, and it's real, it is going to be a sensation. But which campaign is going to devote the resources to having a video person on the road, a video person in house, and a high-level staffer responsible for daily oversight? That's no small devotion of campaign resources.”
Armstrong’s point is that, blogging on behalf of a candidate is just not compelling. “If a candidate wants to use this medium to reach people, they are going to have to figure out how to do it themselves.” Armstrong writes.
I agree, and the likelihood that any of the presidential candidates will do this in the near future is probably minimal. However, we might see more small-time candidates doing it themselves in smaller election circles around the world.
Candidates should at least listen to bloggers if they want to obtain a relationship with them writes Todd Zeigler of TBR. It seems the McCain campaign is failing to do so!