Fighting for attention

Some interesting discussion about the Dean’s official campaign blog:

MATTHEW GROSS:The gentleman apparently charged with the primary responsibility for Howard Dean’s official campaign blog is turning out to be one of the best bloggers around.

Matthew Gross is the source for official Dean news, but he uses the campaign’s blog as more than an outlet for press releases. He references a surprising variety of blogs from people who aren’t rabid Dean supporters, from liberal blog icon Atrios to the very straight Matthew Yglesias.

Gross is funny. He’ll go to great lengths to avoid plugging another campaign’s blog by redacting a quotation like this one from Horrible Howard Kurtz:

Turns out that some candidates – notably Howard Dean, and [snip] – have their own blogs. This raises the disturbing prospect of a blog deficit for the other contenders.

He also nobly sought to pre-empt the recent Dean/Kerry spat with a post very early in the game entitled: “CHILL, CHRIS LEHANE, CHILL”.

Even if his conclusions are circumscribed by official Dean policy, Gross is a refreshing voice in the Blogosphere and the Dean campaign has made a fine choice to run the first campaign blog in history.

:: posted by Joe Rospars at 04:23 ::

[via That Other Blog]

Of course, not everyone’s on the same page:

Team Dean unleashes the attack dogs again in today’s Notepad, and even though I’m giving my all to get past my misgivings with Dean, this just makes him look bad.

Is the Anointed One’s grand plan in jeopardy?

Can Chris Lehane single-handedly save him?

To what depths will they stoop to realize their nefarious plot?

That basically yells out “twenty-something kids with untamed mops of curly hair and stylie black-rimmed glasses are running my campaign!” Which, well, isn’t very far from the truth.

[via Untelevised]

For what it’s worth, I think Matt’s done a terrific job infusing the campaign blog with attitude, engaging its readers, and reaching out to other bloggers. The Dean campaign has been in attack mode this week. Some bloggers are upset by this, but I think they’re missing the point. Few voters are paying attention right now – this is a battle for donors. And donors are paying attention to the press, who is covering the campaign as a result of the Kerry dustup. I was in Boston this week, and Howie Carr was talking about it, with unflattering comments about Kerry (not surprisingly, Carr’s not a fan). I opened the USA Today at the hotel, and there’s more about Governor Dean.

Bottom line, the strategy right now is to get Gov. Dean on the map. The Kerry campaign’s trying to kick Dean to the curb, but right now the press wants to see a fight. The posts above are just further evidence that the campaign’s getting the attention they want.

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