Thursday, April 21, 2005


VOLuntarilyConservative added to another blogroll

Those who visit the site Blogging for Bryant may notice that this little fledgling blog has been added to the rolls of Tennessee blogs and even received a mention in the main body. I haven't written much at all about the 2006 Senate race yet, but I figured that I would save that for a slow news day on which I had oodles of spare time and preferably rain for my poor dogwoods and cherry trees. (My trees aren't doing as well as those seen on Instapundit, which are only about a mile from my new house.) So, rest assured, there will be much more to come on the race.

Blogging for Bryant has received a great deal of attention from Tennesseans in the Blogosphere lately. Matt White, Bill Hobbs, "Chrystal" (who is surely former Hilleary campaigner Jennifer Coxe), and several others have commented on it, with much of the debate centering on whether this is an "Astroturf" campaign, where the campaign establishes the blog and trumps up the candidate, therefore looking like a grassroots effort but really isn't such. However, I can say that isn't the case with Blogging for Bryant. I came to the same conclusion about the site in much the same way that Adam Groves did - by reading the posts and talking with Ed - before I found out who was running Blogging for Bryant. B4B is a group of young Tennesseans who believe that Ed Bryant should be the next U.S. Senator from Tennessee - period. Jay Bush, who I worked with in D.C. and is currently attending law school in Nashville, is in charge of the site, which probably explains why it is one of the best (if not the best) site for news on the 2006 campaign.

I guess I wouldn't be surprised, given my ties to Ed, if this site is accused of having "Astroturf"-like qualities someday. Of course, jumping to that conclusion ignores the fact that I have ties to Van Hilleary, as well, or that I have never discussed this blog with Ed. Those who know Ed know that he is a traditionalist when it comes to campaigning, preferring face-to-face contact. As Adam Groves notes, Ed is a skeptic of how much blogs can influence a political campaign. I certainly don't think that Ed is alone in that regard, even if I do not share that opinion (especially in relation to new voters and those who are now a few years younger than myself - a new revelation for me as the big 3-0 approaches).

Bottom line: Check out Blogging for Bryant for information on the 2006 Senate race. They have linked to several obscure media sources that aren't frequented by many mainstream bloggers and are a worthy blog for those interested in what is shaping up to be one of the most interesting and lengthy statewide elections in recent Tennessee history.

When Ed spoke here in Memphis a couple of months ago, the people who introduced him at the podium made sure to note the "blogger's corner" where three of us were sitting. (AlphaPatriot, Fishkite and myself) I also made a point to speak with Ed afterwards about the power and reach of blogging. He listened sympathetically, but it didn't seem to be getting through.

Bryant already has a strong, voluntary, ad hoc network of bloggers across the state, where Corker and Hilleary have nothing. He'd be very well advised to get to work taking advantage of it. Ford has nothing right now, but you can bet one will appear shortly after he announces.

Although.... Some Dems seem to be very lukewarm about Ford, even to the point of demanding he "come back" from the center he's supposedly trying to occupy. Folks like the Memphis alt-weekly keep sniping at Ford for his Clintonian DLC moves to peel off centrist Republicans. Bryant's blog supporters are pretty much solidly behind him. Will bloggers like SouthKnoxBubba be "behind him but with reservations?" Should be interesting....

Breat blog, btw. Welcome to the fray.
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