Dean Barker of Blue Hampshire had an interesting email exchange with a Republican challenger to Paul Hodes (NH-02) and was given permission to publish it. Jim Steiner responded to a post by Dean on FISA and the exchange is interesting. They disagree on FISA and Dean had been cutting in his initial response to Steiner’s telecom immunity stance. One line stood out from the exchange. Steiner wrote:
I enjoy the approach you take, even in chiding me (or I would not read it), as you do so with a sarcastic vein of humor that is nonetheless accurate about my positions, and who I am, even if you (incorrectly) have reason to disagree. One cannot ask for anything more from someone reflecting: (1) my position; and (2) addressing your own position with respect to my analysis. Thank you for how you address the issues, as your post indicates at least a respect for acknowledging where I come from.
This is an impressive understanding of what Dean was doing as a blogger. I think Democratic candidates for office could take a lesson from Steiner on engaging directly with the bloggers who write about them.
I also think it’s interesting to see a Republican candidate doing direct outreach to a Democratic blog that will be actively working against him if Steiner is the GOP nominee for the NH-02. I wonder the extent to which that’s a quirk of New Hampshire’s fairly moderate, bipartisan political slant or something that we can expect to see more campaigns do in the future as bloggers like Dean become established political outlets in their home states.