JRE Buzz (37): Blogger Sit Down in Iowa
The last few days have been and will continue to be a whirlwind for John Edwards, who announced his candidacy yesterday in NOLA. Only press and citizen journalists were at the announcement, with the exception of some of the residents and One Corps New Orleans.
Edwards is granting quite a bit of access to bloggers as he considers this campaign (his words from the announcement on Thur) a grassroots and netroots effort. The following YT was done by NCDem of the OAC.
One of the exciting moments for this blogger was to drive to Des Moines to see Edwards address a town hall meeting of 1o00, possibly 1500 or more, depending on who reported on it. But before the town hall portion, local bloggers and myself were invited to a petite tete a tete "bloggers sit-in". This was an opportunity to say hello ask Edwards questions. Jake Ludington, originally from Iowa and visiting for the holidays, is one of those Lockergnome guys and an attendee at this gathering. He captured a pretty good chunk of the conversation here. I hope Mitch Radcliffe is reading all of these accounts. After all, it was his idea to have a CJ or professional blogger on the back of the bus to capture the behind the scenes of a politician.
Yes, you see me very very briefly trying to sit down after shaking hands with John Edwards. To Edwards' left is my pal and OAC blogger, Jackie R, who was obviously very interested in what Edwards had to say.
My question was (and you can hear it on the video better than I can repeat verbatim) was about Edwards' foreign travels and the CFR report he wrote with Jack Kemp (in which Edwards finished my thought--"you mean Russia") and if it was possible to have the Russians at the table to help engage Iran. In short, Edwards didn't think so since Putin was moving away from democracy in Russia.
Other folks at this meeting included Robert Scoble, who works for Podtech and is travelling around on the plane with JRE, but Podtech is picking up his tab otherwise. He's one of my favorite geeks, and we had a nice conversation about the movement towards electronic public engagement, and I told him about some of the projects I've been working on at work as well as my own place here. I will post a picture I had taken with him later as I'm still in Iowa and will need access to my own computer to load into one of my plog accounts.
Scoble and I also talked about his experiences with some of the NC bloggers at the Converge South conference a couple of months ago. He said it was definitely like being in an old southern neighborhood, and one could see how politicians were born and bred out of that environment.
This was Scoble's first foray into political vlogging.
One thing I was not aware of until later was that not all of the bloggers were necessarily Edwards supporters at this blogger sit down. But I'm hoping one by one they will be won over, as I have been.
I also caught up with fellow bloggers NCDem and Chuckles, who were the CJ's travelling with Edwards' entourage for the first leg of the announcement tour. Jackie and I gave them a ride to their hotel and had dinner with them. Lots of war stories they were telling about their adventure, but it really was an adventure for them. Chuckles told me that Ezra Klein was his roommate in NOLA.
Updates forthcoming. Signing off from Hawkeye land.
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