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View Diary: The legacy of McCain-Feingold (174 comments)

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  •  silly (4.00)
    kos has expressed often his appreciation for Dean. just because he doesn't conclude that Dean is the second coming of the messiah, and is trying to help strengthen the DNC and give it some cajones, he's suddenly in terry mac's pocket?

    dude. seriously.

    you're someone who complains about something (in this case the DNC) and then when someone is trying to fix or change it, you yell at them for doing so. get over yourself. there's plenty of nits to be picked and major issues to be tossed at the DNC, but you're out of line. as is that freeper operative chicken little.

    damn it feels good to be a gangster.

    by skaiserbrown on Sat Feb 21, 2004 at 06:14:17 PM PST

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    •  simply put (3.50)
      there was no reason for Kos to mention that Dean was getting too much credit for this. it was just plain gratuitous. Kos has recovered quickly from Dean's demise. I'm glad for him. Alot of the rest of us have not.
      •  Perhaps it could have been said differently. (4.00)
        Maybe the better way to say it is that the analysis of the fundraising aspects has been, to this point, too Dean-centric.

        Ultimately, we're all going to want to know whether -- and if so, how -- this kind of success can be replicated. So we ask, was this about strategy, or was this about the candidate?

        If we concede that it's about the candidate, everybody goes home. Short meeting. Kos makes no contribution at all to the meeting. Nothing can be done but sit and wait for Dean to run again and bring 535 friends along for the ride next time, provided they're willing to say nothing and let him do all the talking.

        The only other possibility worth considering is that Dean did something that's transferable to others. Not everyone, but some others. If so, then the bulk of the credit goes to the strategy and not the man. Granted, not every candidate could make this work. But given the frequency with which Dean supporters proclaimed their affinity for the candidate was based on his strategy of outreach, the only logical conclusion is that this strategy is to some degree transferable -- or that Dean supporters were just disguising their hero worship as something else.

        The hero worship option means we all get to knock off early, though.

        •  If You Don't... (none)
          ...keep up the hero worship, there's something else that's going to come off...
        •  I respectfully disagree... (3.60)
          about your interpretation of what comprises the strategy.

          Dean's message was the strategy. Period. The strategy in all elections is "how" are you going to go about attracting voters. And that is all about message. That's it.

          The blog is a TACTIC. A "tool" to attract and communicate with voters. Existing E-Commerce technology was another TACTIC used to make it easy for people who have been convinced by the candidates message to contribute. That's it tactics.- Just like TV & Print ads are a tactic, not a strategy.

          There is no magic in blogs and E-Commerce that is going to change a business-as-usual candidate into a Super Pol.

          At best these tools will only do what they were intended to do - communicate and simplify contributions. And email makes it cost effective to solicit often.

          Give Dean his due credit or not, that is up to each individual. But no one can deny that his 40+ Million was the 'shot heard around the world'.

          Kos is now in the business of developing blogs for others. He should be thanking Dean - not saying he received to much credit. Without Dean's 'Big Bang' there would not be the level of interest there is right now for Kos's expertise.

          I am a entrepreneur and businessperson so I say the following from experience - the worse thing Kos could do right now is to sell his blogs to people and leave them with the expectation that the 'TOOLS' will bring them Dean-Type success. He needs to let them know that the 'TOOLS' are only capable of Amplifying the success that they create with their message.

          Any other impression on the part of the buyer will only lead to disappointment. And with customer disappointment comes a market that will dry up faster than a fresh rose in the Hot Arizona Sun.

          •  I respectfully respect your respectful .... (none)
            Always a good hair to split, about strategy versus tactics.

            But where do you classify blogs, internet fundraising and interactive outreach if part of the strategy is to drive focus on the tactic?

            There's no doubt that by themselves these tools are no more than tactics. But to me, part of the reason why we're even having this debate over who deserves how much credit is that Dean made his tactics part of his strategic appeal. My recollection is that Kos explained the appeal of the Dean campaign (for him) as centering on its focus on netroots and interactivity in general.

            While that may not have been as central to everyone else's commitment to Dean, it was certainly the part that got the most press. Enough so that I think the argument can be made that these tactics became recruiting strengths -- Dean for America was better than any other campaign because they listened to you, and you could believe they listened to you because they used all these fantastic, interactive tools.

            I guess that essentially comes down to a "medium is the message" argument, which is disconcerting because I would ordinarily resist making it. But in this case there's something to it.

            Now, that said, I agree that Kos should be thanking Dean for making the splash he did, which raised demand for his services. Still, I don't know if that itself says anything about where credit is due. Using the e-commerce parallel, the coders who develop the software certainly have to thank Amazon.com (or whoever) for the "big bang," but that doesn't mean they deserve the credit for creating the tools. In fact, in their case, I'd say their marketing department and advertising agency deserve the credit for driving the traffic. But that's another story.

            I also agree that Kos shouldn't be out there promising Dean-like magic to anyone who'll pay for a blog, if that's the right way of putting it. But I think worrying about that possibility ignores the context in which Kos came to develop the skills he's selling. It seems clear enough to me that he has (as have we all) seen what blogs can and can't do, from having observed, say, his own, Dean's, and Kerry's.

            To some extent, it is in Kos' interest to deemphasize the role of Dean himself in the blog explosion, but I think it's also in our interest. Certainly other candidates and organizations are going to be less inclined to launch blogs if the leading strategist in the field tells them it can only work for Howard Dean. So yes, that's a sales pitch for Kos. But on the other hand, what would Democrats have learned if they dismissed the possibility out of hand that other candidates might also be suited to such tactics? In this case, Kos' self interest translates rather directly into the ability to build a pipeline for you to reach a growing number of Democratic office holders and policy makers. I'll spot him a couple bucks in exchange for that.

            You can't give Dean too much credit for making the most of the tools he was provided with. But I think we do ourselves a disservice if we give him too much credit for discovering that Democrats are excited by the prospect of making campaigns a two-way street.

            •  Respectfully Squared (none)
              Having once again read your post that I responded to along with other posts that offered comment on this subject it appears to me that most people fall on either the side that 'Dean's Message' was the driving force OR  on the side that the 'Tools' were the driving force.

              It is pretty clear that the 'Dean Message' people are supporters of Dean and thus see his message as the reason for his fund raising success. On the other side it appears that those that are not big fans of Dean see the 'Tools' as the reason for his fund raising success.

              This proves once again the old adage of "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder". That said let me respond to your thoughtful post.

              You mentioned that Kos explained the appeal of the Dean campaign (for him) as centering on its focus on netroots and interactivity in general. OK that was the appeal for Kos but not for everyone including myself. Kos is wed to the tools so it is natural that he would be attracted to that aspect of the campaign. Conversely those who are not wed to the tools were attracted to the message and see the tool as an enhancement to the campaign. Simply two valid views coming from two different perspectives.

              You say that you think the argument can be made that these tactics became recruiting strengths based on the fact that this is what the Press reported on. OK. I say just because the Press decides to cover fluff over Issues and Messages does not mean they set the agenda of my and others attraction to the campaign. Sure the Press has influence on a lot of people (sheep) and if the press decides to frame a candidate in a certain way does not mean that is who the candidate, his campaign, or his supporters, really are. But if you wish to make the argument for tactics, once again we simply have two valid views coming from two different perspectives.

              In regards to your view on who should get credit for the technology you are absolutely correct. The coders followed by Amazon etc. certainly put the infrastructure in place. The point I was trying to making when I mentioned Dean's 'Big Bang' was simply Dean was the first to be successful using it in politics in such a way that it became Front Page News and has driven the interest level in the marketplace. Much like Amazon was an early pioneer in E-Commerce.

              As to your response to my comments about Kos marketing blogs I will just stand by my original comments. The fact is that the tools are "The Steak" and Dean Message was "The Sizzle". If you know anything about marketing you know that you don't sell the steak you "Sell The Sizzle" because that is what opens the door to interest in what you have to say. My point was that Kos just need to be a complete consultant and communicate Dean's success and then point out that there is more to Deans success than just having the tools.

              It is kind of like have a website for your business. If it just displays your name and address and what you sell you are not going to get much response. You need 'Compelling Content' to be successful. Or in the case of a political blog you need a 'Compelling Message' like Dean had.

              So the question remains which approach is more successful?

              A campaign with a 'Compelling Message' that also uses some tools (tactics) to AMPLIFY the message
              OR
              A campaign that use tools (tactics) not a 'Compelling Message' as it's strategy.

              For me the answer is simple because I just follow the lead of those who are far more successful than I.

              I enjoyed your reading posts and look forward to talking to you again.

      •  you have a point (none)
        and it's also certainly true that we've developed an echo chamber here. as political blog junkies we go over and discuss issues far quicker than the "real world" does. so kos, as a nexus of the blog world, probably suffers from this at times and is already looking to the future.

        damn it feels good to be a gangster.

        by skaiserbrown on Sat Feb 21, 2004 at 06:56:52 PM PST

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      •  Of course there IS a reason (4.00)
        its absolutely necessary that he mention what he believes is a misplaced analysis.

        You may disagree with his analysis, but his point that Dean got too much credit for a phenomenon that may well have been (more than likely was) developing on its own as well is central to his analysis.

        While the Dean campaign deserves credit for several very important developments in the current campaign, the analysis that "dean revolutionizes" has always been a simplistic and somewhat generous interpretation.  No one individual (or event) alone "revolutionizes".

        And people who want to try to make a living out of the US political system, or those who want to understand and analyze what has happened in order to impact the political system now and in the future need to recognize that and begin a more in-depth analysis.

        I find it amusing that people are chastizing MarKos for being "anti-Dean", after the 18+ months of grief he endured for being "pro-Dean".  

        Talk about a one-dimensional line of vision.

        "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

        by a gilas girl on Sat Feb 21, 2004 at 07:07:28 PM PST

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