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30 April 2005

And he blogs again... Part II

When I made my last posting, linking to Senator Feingold's Daily Kos diary "Can they hear us now?", I was excited. I was happy that Feingold was reaching out to the blogosphere again, and to the supporters that he will need in 2008, should he run. I liked that he was asking for the opinions of readers, and that it could be seen as an online listening session.

Then Kos himself responded with "Feingold and blogger freedom", as the original diary had been in response to the comment Kos made. This I liked even more. I liked that he would clarify his opinion in order to have a civil discussion with the senator. Like a few others, I was a touch surprised by what I saw as a harsher-than-normal tone, but any discussion is good discussion.

Senator Feingold replied with this comment. Later, after a few people commented on the qualms they had with regards to Kos's and Feingold's comments, Kos posted the diary, "Loving Feingold".

Of course most Feingold fans already know about this, and have probably read all those, but I thought I'd give a short summary and links in case anyone hadn't.

I think, as nearly everyone else seems to, that this can only be seen as a good thing. It shows a couple things to the netroots, and could help swing them to Feingold when they start searching for the next Dean-type candidate in 2008.

First, it shows that he takes this medium seriously. You don't want a candidate who is afraid to touch the internet, or to engage the bloggers, because this is the beginning of a new and unique medium. Blogging is probably here to stay, and whoever embraces it first will probably feel positive results. It returns us to the days when news and politics were discussed openly, allowing anyone who wanted to voice their opinions, except now it's on an international scale.

Then, there's the way in which Senator Feingold wrote. He avoided two mistakes perfectly, I thought, and did much to make the blogosphere appreciate him. Instead of making a speech and leaving, he asked questions and debated honestly. He also avoided pandering, which would have been very easy in this setting. Many other politicians would have gone on and said, "Kos is great, I love blogs, I agree with everything you say" and then turn around and vote the opposite. He didn't. He's not afraid to say what he believes.

Lastly, it gets his name mentioned. There are plenty of possible candidates, but active grassroots leaders will remember this.

Over at Feingold for Illinois, there's some good commentary too.


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