Clinton Campaign Hires Blogger Peter Daou as Consultant
Hillary Clinton has hired blogger Peter Daou to help make nice to the netroots.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign has hired Peter Daou, one of the most prominent political bloggers in the nation, to help disseminate her message in a forum that has not always been that hospitable to her. The move underscores the degree to which bloggers — the authors of Web logs, or blogs — have begun to transform American politics. In many cases, candidates have even set up their own blogs, with staffers answering questions, presenting policy proposals and posting campaign literature and videos.
Mrs. Clinton, who is up for re-election this year and is a possible presidential candidate for 2008, has been a frequent target of bloggers, particularly liberals who are angry over her refusal to disavow her vote in 2002 to authorize President Bush to use force in Iraq.
The Clinton camp is clearly counting on Mr. Daou, who directed blog outreach and online rapid response for Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004, to help improve Mrs. Clinton’s image among liberal bloggers, who are fast becoming a constituency in their own right and may thus play a significant role in selecting the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.
Daou, who will continue posting at Salon’s Dauo Report, explains:
Since launching the Daou Report in December 2004, I have written extensively about a ‘triangle’ comprised of the traditional media, the political establishment, and the blogosphere. I have argued that “closing the triangle” (i.e. enhancing the connection between the three entities) is imperative for the Democratic Party and the progressive netroots. My thinking on this issue is informed by my experience directing blog outreach and online rapid response for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. Working out of the Washington, D.C. headquarters, I viewed the political landscape from two distinct perspectives: as a blogger and as a political consultant. Living in both worlds exposed me to the tensions on either side. In the year and a half since the campaign ended, I’ve learned more about the media side of the triangle, working with Media Matters and others to highlight conservative misinformation and false narratives in the press. My aim has been to seek ways to build bridges between the Democratic establishment, the media, and the blog community.
Which brings me to the point of this blog post: I have been offered — and accepted — what I believe is a unique opportunity to help close the triangle: joining Senator Clinton’s team as a blog advisor to facilitate and expand her relationship with the netroots. There are endless possibilities for Clinton-netroots collaborations, from Net Neutrality to the Privacy Bill of Rights to voting reform to so many other critical issues.
I actually read the first paragraph of the above excerpt yesterday afternoon but stopped reading before getting to the second. It’s a good move for Clinton, methinks, although I’m not sure how attractive a candidate who has positioned herself as a moderate hawk will be to the netroots.