It was a heady week for most Democrats with the signing of the long-awaited health insurance reform package. In a few cases, the votes in Congress infused primary campaigns with additional energy, particularly those in Arkansas and Massachusetts. One thing for sure, if it was all about getting the candidate's name into the blogosphere, Jennifer Brunner's Ohio Senate campaign would have taken the prize. Her new media outreach team deluged Daily Kos with diaries from the candidate herself and her supporters in a well-coordinated push.
But did you know that in all those diaries, 19 of them, including three from the candidate herself, only one contained a photograph of Brunner? The campaign's Victory for Courage sticker and take-off on the iconic World War II Rosie the Riveter poster could be found in most of those diaries. But neither of those includes the candidate's name, and had it not been for pistolSO's Oh-Sen:Why I'm donating $25 to Jennifer Brunner Today, the casual reader who didn't want to call up the Google wouldn't know what she looks like. Visuals matter.
As noted in previous digests – March 20, March 13 and February 13 – all good candidate diaries should include a photo, a link to the campaign's web site and the candidate's blog if s/he has one, a link to a volunteer sign-up page, and, of course, a link to a contribution site. And the diarist shouldn't wait until the last minute, this information should be included in the introduction – "above the fold," as we anachronistically say. The same information can be repeated at the end of the body text.
In past weeks, I've urged diarists to get their candidate's name in the headline. Remember that you're campaigning for money and votes not just in the state or district but also here. Readers need their interest whetted. The nameless "Help Elect a Progressive" just may not cut it. There are, however, some exceptions to that advice. Spotlighting a campaign for a state legislature seat in Massachusetts, MassDemActivist chose the alluring Help a Howard Dean Democrat Win Scott Brown's Seat. The candidate's name in that case couldn't possibly be as compelling as the two well-known names that made it into that headline – a very smart choice.
As previously mentioned, in campaigns for the House, diarists should also consider including maps of the contested district. As the election season grows older, supporters will be tempted to leave basic information about their candidate out of their diaries, figuring that everyone already is clued in. That's a mistake. While it's valuable for us political junkies to read stuff that only somebody closely following the campaign knows, diaries are also being read by people who are taking their first interest in a particular candidate. So don't leave out the basics or the photos, maps, and, of course, the links.
Next week, we'll talk about first impressions: how to write a magnetic lead paragraph.
The digest begins below the fold.
Candidates and Incumbents in Their Own Words
Alan Grayson: A Near-Death Experience, and On From Here
Alan Grayson: Michael Moore Speaks
manantrivedi: PA-06 Healthcare reform begins with this legislation, it does not end with this legislation
Jennifer Brunner: Hands Off Our Primary!
Jennifer Brunner: Join Us at VictoryForCourage.com
Jennifer Brunner: A Victory for Courage!
Elaine Marshall: Dear Sen. Burr...Grow up!
Elaine Marshall: NC-Sen: Finishing the Job on Health Care Reform
Cal Cunningham: NC-Sen: Burr won't crack down on Wall Street...I will
Brittany Novotny: Let's Put the "Unity" Back in "Community"!
Rep Louise Slaughter: A Transparent Process to a Great Accomplishment
Adam B: YOU DID IT! Show Vulnerable Pro-HCR Dems: We've Got Your Backs!
Adam B: 1st Goal MET: Defend Pro-HCR Dems From Sarah Palin!
cos: A Wave of Primary Challenges Against Health Care Opponents?
calchala: Pres-2012: HCR Passage Destroys Romney & Jindal's Chances
AdamGreen: PCCC Endorses First Candidates of 2010 -- Help Them?
Civitas: If You Liked Yesterday's Vote, Donate to a Democrat
Frameshift: A Concise Taxonomy of Invertebrate Dem's (Or, Whom To Primary)
setb: Time to go on Offense. The Other 34.
Sandi Behrns: The Hit List: House Dems Who Voted Against Health Care
Gov Howard Dean MD: Alan Grayson: a Congressman with Guts
innereye: Moneybomb Alan Grayson!!!
downwithtyranny: Can Georgia Democrat Regina Thomas Hold Blue Dog John Barrow Accountable This Year?
downwithtyranny: Blue Dog John Barrow Votes Against Healthcare Again
charlie kennedy: Final Push for Candidate Petitions in FL-13
fitchfan28: Details on the upcoming GA-09 special election
Judy Jennings: Help Texas get back to its roots supporting education.
Mitchell Howie for Congress : AL-05 Parker Griffith Votes Against Health Care Reform and Against North Alabama Families
alpolitics: Baby Killer Yeller Has A Dem Opponent (TX-19) - Support Him
BenGoshi: Artur Davis & the Other 33 "No" Dems. We'll remember.
pontificator: Q: How is Carville "Whoring" for Blanche Lincoln?
ekimsitruc: AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln, Obstructionist
Scarce: Rachel Maddow on Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas
ProgressiveSouth: Why Blanche Lincoln doesn't like student loan reform
ScienceMan: Andy Wilson, Randy Neugebauer's Democratic Opponent In His Own Words
bryanjbusch: TX-24 - My Kenny Marchant Ads Are Live
Blue South: Relieve Burr of His Duties (NC-Sen)
Mike Nellis: NC-Sen: Recap of Elaine Marshall's Blue America Live Chat
Mike Nellis: NC-Sen: Chat LIVE NOW w/ Secretary of State Elaine Marshall
RfrancisR: Charlie Melancon Coming to Town... I need your help
gloever: Edwards voted against HCR, but...
Jim Piccillo: FL CD 05 .....The Wrong Side of History
Common Sense in NC: To Hell with Larry Kissell, Bob Etheridge Deserves Support
The Border States
ekyprogressive: Call for Help: Progressive Candidate Needs A Push. With Poll
RDemocrat: Rand Paul Leads Zealots Against John Yarmuth
Davidsfr: NY-Sen: Gillibrand a Juggernaut?
devtob: Teabaggers, Dick Morris target "traitor" Scott Murphy
devtob: Teabagger heads explode over Scott Murphy's support of HCR
dwjess55: Jason Altmire warned by Westmoreland Dem. Committee
LaurenMonica: Scott Brown : Help me defeat Rachel Maddow
incondite: Maddow: I'm Not Running Against Scott Brown!
Ryepower12: Draft Harmony Wu; Ditch HCR-Backstabbing Rep. Lynch
seospider: Lynch officially a NO, Support his primary challenger Harmony Wu
seospider: Help Punish Stephen Lynch for his HCR no vote.
soko: MA-9: Primary Challenger Emerges for Lynch!
innereye: Why Congressman Stephen Lynch Voted "No"
calchala: Rep. Lynch, you've got nowhere to hide!
John DE: NJ-SEN: Tea Party Recall Lawyer Does Not Accept Science of Astronomy
MassDemActivist: Help a Howard Dean Democrat Win Scott Brown's Seat
Russells 10: Rep. Jim Himes and the Moral Dimension of HCR
padem2010: Altmire challenged by Shea? - Run Jack Run!
strings: Say no to Doug Pike
Alexi for Illinois: Tick-Tock: Where Is Congressman Kirk?
Alexi for Illinois: Something Missing From Congressman Kirk's Facebook Page?
Reading on Walden Bookstore: After the health care vote, we need Alexi Giannoulias in the United States Senate
Inland: Mark Kirk (R-IL) Calls for Public Option Bank for Mortgage Loans!
Jeff Coryell: OH-Sen: Jennifer Brunner Money Bomb on Friday 3/26
Jeff Coryell: Pledge $10 Now for Jennifer Brunner Money Bomb 3/26
Jeff Coryell: BREAKING: Angry Teabag Mob Assails Jennifer Brunner
MJ159305: We need Courage For Victory!! Help Jennifer Brunner NOW!
MJ159305: End Republican Obstructionism, and have a VictoryForCourage with Jennifer Brunner
MJ159305: The best thing a Progressive can do today: give to Jennifer Brunner!
Cedwyn: Brunner Now, Brunner November!
chumpLiberal: Join Jennifer Brunner in a Victory for Courage
David Dettman: Help Jennifer Brunner Build Momentum to Win the OH-Sen Primary
RandomNonviolence: OH-Sen: Support the Jennifer Brunner money shower today
romriech: College Students: Brunner = Obama
pistolSO : Oh-Sen:Why I'm donating $25 to Jennifer Brunner Today
pistolSO: OH-Sen: Jennifer Brunner, the Patriot Act and Courage.
dwhite105: OH-Sen Jennifer Brunner or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Money-Bomb
anastasia p: Why I Support Jennifer Brunner for U.S. Senate, Ohio
David Dettman: OH-Sen: 74,000+ Emails Say "Hands Off Our Primary"
WeBetterWinThisTime: Kossacks. Can We Help Russ Feingold Out?
RH Reality Check: Who Is Bart Stupak?
The Dean of Cincinnati: Ohio GOP candidate's campaign BLOCKS cameras at PUBLIC FORUM
The Northern Tier
Muskegon Critic: Ultra Fundamentalist Charged to Take Hoekstra's Seat
mmcintee: Video: Oberstar (D-MN)"I'm Going To Vote for It"
Bill Prendergast: Michele Bachmann update--stoking flames with abortion lies
TarrylClark: The Bachmann Agenda on Health Care: Heartless
Benintn: Stop Michele Bachmann! Tarryl Clark moneybomb TODAY March 25, 2010
alpolitics: Beat Bachmann Day (MN-06) - Over 500 Already Joined the Movement Today
RH Reality Check: Who Is Bart Stupak?
crazymoloch: MEET THE FIVE JERKS (keeping Stupak relevant)
J Keplar: Stupak's Karma Biting Him
jpmassar: Saltonstall to Stupak: Thanks but no thanks!
The Mountain States and the Southwest
meralda: SD Primary - Pragmatism or Idealism
meralda: New!- Primary for Herseth Sandlin - SD?
vspot: NV-Sen: Environment Tele-Town Hall with Reid Saturday
horizontalrule: SD-Sen: Signatures due on Tues. Are we ceding the state to Thune?
Femlaw: Help Betsy Markey - "the Gutsiest Vote" on HCR
The Left Coast
abgin: BLUE STATES: California. E G Brown (D) vs M Whitman (R)
RJ Eskow: Meg Whitman's Shady Goldman Sachs Past -- Is It California's Future?
3WaveRider: Today, Jerry Brown became the next governor of CA
Position2win: Why I just donated to Jerry McNerney (CA-11)
Gangster Octopus: CA Prop. 16: PG&E and the Buying of Democracy
gtnoah: Jay Clough (WA-04) needs your help
abgin: BLUE STATES: California. E G Brown Jr (D) vs M Bono Mack (R)
Seneca Doane: (CA-47) Dear Loretta Sanchez: About Last Weekend
kgama: Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) strange actions..may plan not to vote or vote NO.
Ellinorianne: Call Loretta Sanchez and Tell her to VOTE Yes for HCR
Femlaw: Rep. Sanchez Pls Vote Yes - OC Rally TODAY 11 a.m. PDT
eugene: Has Loretta Sanchez Lost Her Mind In Opposing Health Care
Liberated One: I'VE GOT A LITTLE LIST...THEY'D NONE OF 'EM BE MISSED!
KingofSpades: Chris Carney, a "yes to no", is back to "yes"!
flitedocnm : Cowardice = bad politics. Rep. Teague: Voting "No".
AtomikNY: Bill Owens a "yes" on HCR bill!
chikindolfin : Rep. Ortiz (TX-27) On Board for HCR
FredFred: Nye releases statement - voting NO
Its the Supreme Court Stupid : John Hall to vote "Yes"!
mistersite: Rep. Norton (D-DC) would be a YEA vote - if she could vote
phreebass: Making the Blue Dog Heel
azzonie: The 34 House Democrats who voted against the Senate bill.
math4barack: Landrieu supports Reconciliation Fix in Senate
rweba: The Full List of "Tough" Dems
Reading on Walden Bookstore : Congressman Dan Lipinski not invited to the White House signing ceremony