Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blogs Gaining Credibility at Senate Committees

By Nathan L. Gonzales

When Charles Schumer (D) was elected to the New York State Assembly in the mid-1970s, some of his older colleagues were still getting used to the television technology, the Senator joked at a recent meeting with Roll Call reporters and editors. Now, the Empire State’s senior Senator counts blogs as part of his daily information appetite.

Schumer’s aides at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee include a number of blogs in his daily packet of media clippings, which also include relevant stories from the day’s newspapers and television shows. But the DSCC chairman is also known to read them on his own.

Items from the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, America Blog, Talking Points Memo, Swing State Project and Senate Guru are usually included, as well as state-specific blogs in 2008 Senate battlegrounds.

Blogs are also getting more attention at the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

GOP aides scan national blogs such as Red State, Townhall and Hot Air for information, as well as state-specific blogs, such as the Dead Pelican (Louisiana), Minnesota Democrats Exposed and the Politicker Web sites in states with Senate races.

Just a couple of election cycles ago, including blogs alongside newspaper and television clippings would have been unthinkable, but this is just one example of how the flow of information is changing and affecting political campaigns.

This item first appeared on RollCall.com on June 13, 2008. 2008 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.