Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Blogs the New Media?

I heard one time that alot of people point to major new media outlets causing poltical re-alignments in this country. For example, Next Gingrich used CSPAN and talk radio to his advantage to retake Congress in 1994.
Anyway, this begs the question; will blogs be the next "new media" that influences politics"? Obviously the verdict is still out on how effective blogs will become at being a viable news source. Even so, you have to ask yourself if blogs are the next big thing, who will be able to take best advantage of them to drive their political party into power?
It seems that right now bost sides have pretty solid blog presences with RedState on the GOP side and DailyKos on the dem side. Virginia too has solid representation on both sides with Commonwealth Conservative and Shaun Kenney on the GOP side and RaisingKaine and Virginia Progressive on the dem side.

It seems to me that the biggest asset blogs pose to the political process is the ability to do a "hatchet job" on someone without direct campaign connection. As we have seen recently, several attacks have been launched first through the blogs to see if it catches or not. If it does, the job is done and the targeted candidate suffers. If it does not make traction, the attacking campaign does not have to take responsibility for it and nothing happens to them.

I don't think blogs will be considered a huge determinant in this year's elections, but I think very soon campaigns will realize the value of blogs. The question is whether the bloggers will take on the job of being the campaign henchmen.

What does everyone else think about the future of blogs?


  • At 9/17/2006 4:30 PM, Blogger Conaway B. Haskins III said…

    Check this out to see my thoughts and others' on what blogs can possibly do in Metro Richmond:


  • At 9/17/2006 4:41 PM, Blogger The Richmond Democrat said…

    Blogs have already changed the landscape on the Left. Ned Lamont probably would not have won the primary against Lieberman without his blog support.

    Here in Virginia the blogs literally put Webb on the ballot, allowing Webb to gather more signatures than his Democratic rival without even spending a significant amount of cash (which is lucky, since at the time he didn't have much cash to spend).

    Since Webb won the primary, blogs have become much less important, but they got the ball rolling for Webb and they are still an important way to get the word out.

    I don't think Republican blogs will be as important until you guys are the underfunded challengers in a race. Blogs are grassroots, and the Allen campaign is a well-funded professional campaign staffed with experienced professionals. Allen's handlers didn't even feel the need for a blog presence until the Macaca scandal.

    I suspect that Virginia's Republican bloggers will really emerge as political operators during the run up to the next gubernatorial race. Both Bolling and McDonnell will want to run and you guys will be forced to choose sides and fight it out. Both are courting Republican bloggers already.

    Well, this has turned in to a ramble, so I'll cut it short.


  • At 9/17/2006 6:31 PM, Blogger Jim Hoeft said…

    You think Virginia Progressive is a solid blog for the left?

    Virginia has a wealth of blogs supporting both parties, selecting two from each side does a disservice to the breadth of coverage that is out there.

    JC -- great point on Bolling and McDonnell. Each have done two podcasts apiece on Bearing Drift this year...and the year is still young.

  • At 9/17/2006 9:35 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    JC, certainly blogs are more useless at the grassroots level which means probably moreso toward the nomination battles.
    Jim, obviously there are more than 2 blogs on each side; but you could make a post just listing all the good blogs in Virginia (Bearing Drift would certainly be in that list).
    I was simply pointing out a couple.

  • At 9/17/2006 9:35 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    that should say "useful"

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