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.
That's putting it mildly. But Clinton's not a new face that hasn't gotten off to a good start on the web. She's an old face that didn't have a good start, hasn't had a good middle, and likely won't have a positive end.
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.
Thanks, New York Times, for walking us through the definition of "blog." Let it not be said the Times is not throrough.
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.
In a statement that was posted on Salon.com, Mr. Daou, who will be a Web consultant for the campaign, said the "nascent power base" of liberal bloggers "is only beginning to make its presence felt" and will "reach fuller potential with the participation of Democratic leaders."
This won't work, I suspect. The messenger cannot change the message, and the message people get from Hillary is: "I'm cold, calculating, and I don't care who I have to step on or what principles I must betray in order to win."
It also remains to be seen whether there really is a "nascent power base" of bloggers, or if the bloggers are simply activists using the internet to express themselves in a new way, but who are not new to politics or the party at all. (And I would add that this point applies to the right as well.)
As a side note, the conclusion of the article recites Mr. Daou's bona fides:
In addition to working for Mr. Kerry's campaign, Mr. Daou has been an online consultant to the United Nations Foundation and AARP.
Can we now all agree that the U.N. and the AARP are essentially left-wing front organizations, or am I reading too much into that little resume.