Job Opening with JohnKerry.com

I posted this last evening on Daily Kos, and, since I've spent at least as much time here as I have there, I wanted to give everyone here the opportunity to see this. This is the home, after all, of the Blogfather ...

John Kerry is not running for President. But he is running a national campaign. More to the point, he's running multiple national campaigns. But they are not to get him elected; they are campaigns for causes, campaigns for our country. He (with our support at JohnKerry.com) is running a campaign to get a new direction in Iraq and set a deadline to start bringing our troops home, a campaign to get solutions to our world's energy and climate crises, a campaign to get our veterans the fair shake they deserve ... and other campaigns to get our country on a more sensible, progressive footing. And we need help to achieve all of this. This is a classic "get paid while you do work you believe in" situation.

We need someone expert in online communications to coordinate and produce our blog and email writing. This is a full-time position, based in our office in Boston. More detailed descriptions below the fold ...       

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Adwatch NY-23: Reality Bites McHugh

I rec this, as we should go for every seat in New York, Jerome

Not to be impolitic, but John McHugh (R-NY) is a dolt. He seems smooth. But he's got nothing but standard-issue GOP talking points, and even on those, he's about six months behind and liable to screw it up. Take his latest on Iraq:

Will the Iraqis step forward and carry on their shoulders that which the American military has been carrying on theirs? If they don't, then we have to begin to face reality.

Begin to face reality? On Iraq? Well, we had to hit him on that ...

That sound-bite just seemed to capture a certain mind-set so beautifully. The mind-set of Friedman Units of time, of corners turned and light glimpsed at the ends of tunnels. Of denial. I mean, some time in the future we may "begin to face reality"? What a wanker.

So, we had to go with it ...

Here's the ad:

It's part of a general strategy of earned media, phone-banking, etc to tie McHugh ever more strongly to the Iraq debacle using his own words against him. Because Iraq ... well, that's the biggie. And since we have limited resources, we can't lose our focus on the biggest issues of all.

Just to give a little context on the "disappearing Congressman" visual of the ad, we did a previous ad with that image. We bought about 500-600 points in each market of that ad, and the word-of-mouth and memorability of it gained us a lot more exposure than that. Just about everyone has seen or heard of this ad a number of times ...

Now, we're not a highly funded campaign. In fact, we produce these ads in-house, with the same person (me) in charge of Internet outreach, policy, politics, media releases, media management, ad production, and ad placement ... uh, among other things. And we, well I, have followed a few basic rules to maximize our impact: repeat themes and visuals to make them stick better, concentrate each ad on a single theme/message to make it more clear in people's minds, come up with a single visual theme for McHugh (the "empty suit" visual), and stick to messages that can resonate with the news rather than build "issues" out of trivia (out-of-context votes on issues outside the biggies). Now, those aren't exactly earth-shaking insights, but they're particularly important in a less-funded campaign. And not followed enough, imo. Plus, by using McHugh's official photo, we are re-mixing and claiming his brand.

Luckily, though, we live in a very weird district: it's actually cheaper to reach people by TV than any other way. We get ads for 6-10 dollars per point. That's just crazy. But it has allowed us (since we have very little production costs because I make them ... this ad cost $200) to buy enough ads to actually make an impact, as long as we followed those rules, imo.

Back to the ad ... we knew, and the polls now reflect, that the electorate would turn back to Iraq strongly. John McHugh supports the policy, and the policy can best be illustrated by a burning car bomb. Rather than spend our time building case after case on a wide variety of issues, we're hanging a broad case all around a central pillar of Iraq.

{Bob Johnson is running in NY-23 against John McHugh. Donate if you can ... }

Foley and North Korea: The Political Connection

Now wait ... before I go on, I'm not saying Mark Foley the person has any connection to Kim Jong Il. This is about the political connection between the two events. You see, the Foley scandal has a far deeper significance even than most people are giving it credit for. It's not about the "end of the Republican Revolution," or what it exposes about the GOP's lust for power.


The Foley scandal strikes at the very heart of the modern GOP, the essential bedrock of the party politically.

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NY-23 Adwatch: Going after McHugh on Accountability

As some of you probably know, I work for the Democrat Bob Johnson in this NY-23 race, so this is by no means an impartial diary. In fact, I made the ad here, so your comments and suggestions will go straight to the source, so to speak.

This ad is a stark, aggressive ad. We wanted to go after McHugh's main characteristic: his complete ineffectiveness. Our nation has huge issues, and we just can't afford to have a Congressman who just disappears when it matters ... and we wanted a striking visual to illustrate that. We were aiming for something a bit more memorable than your average "grainy slo-mo of the politician."

(more below the flip)

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Congratulations John McHugh, R-NY!

In my new role as hired gun, campaign flack, high-priced low-priced consultant ... I decided that good ol' fashioned blogosphere snark is still the best course sometimes. So ...BOB JOHNSON FOR CONGRESS CAMPAIGN CONGRATULATES JOHN MCHUGH ON HILL AWARD.  

Everyone at the Bob Johnson for Congress campaign extends hearty congratulations to Representative John McHugh for being named one of the 50 most beautiful people on Capitol Hill by The Hill newspaper. Although Bob Johnson's goal would be to be recognized for being an effective and tireless worker for the people of New York, it still must be a proud moment for John McHugh to be recognized for something.

We're especially glad that his legislative salary affords him the opportunity to impress one and all with his "crisp clothing and snazzy ties by top designers," according to The Hill. Maybe that's why Rep. McHugh voted for a pay raise for himself while denying millions of Americans a raise by voting against increasing the minimum wage ... [follow the flip]

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A Strong Challenger in AZ 5

Democrats just gathered another strong pickup opportunity, as a strong challenger announced he was jumping into the race against the ethically-deficient (and Abramoff-linked) JD Hayworth.

Jump below the fold for a bit from a Roll Call story entitled AZ 5: Challenge to Hayworth Makes for a `Highly Competitive' Race.

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Democrats Uniting Around Iraq Plan

To me, the most immediately relevant finding of the MyDD poll was the overwhelming support for the details of a plan like the Murtha Plan. As a refresher, here's Chris's post on that aspect of the poll.

What is perhaps most stunning about the Murtha proposal is how it is supported almost exactly the same by Democrats (59.3%), Republicans (63.7%) and Independents (65.9%). Considering the size of these sub-samples, those differences are within the margin for error. The non-partisan nature of support for Murtha's plan stands in sharp contrast to the "say the course" plan, which features only 33% support from Democrats, and 79% support from Republicans. The broad support for Murtha's plan also stands in sharp contrast to the November vote on his plan in the House of Representatives, when only 3 members of Congress actually cast a vote in favor

There may be movement on this ... more below.

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Enough with the WMD, already!

Stuff like this from Jonathan Chait just drives me nuts:

... almost everybody was wrong about the basic outlines of Iraq's weapons capability. Foreign intelligence agencies believed that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction. The Clinton administration had issued dire warnings. United Nations weapons inspectors reported that Iraq had not accounted for missing weapons it had previously declared.

On top of that widely shared consensus, Bush piled on some lies. But the notion that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was not, in and of itself, a case of Bush duping Congress or the public. It was a case of Bush being duped along with the rest of the world.

But the whole formulation of "WMD" is a red-herring designed to obfuscate the issue. Let's take a little look back through the scare-tactics of 2002 ...

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Toward a New Media Future

Al Gore's speech, widely and justifiably linked to, gives a key point: no matter how much stature the blogs and alternative text media gain, nothing can touch the power of motion video.

Which is why we need to work for a new media future.

And I think it's possible even faster than Gore thinks ...

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Goodbye, Westphalia

Osama Bin Laden and George W. Bush are unwitting conspirators. They don't know they are working together (at least Bush doesn't), but they are. They are hastening along an epochal change in the geo-political world possibly larger than anything the world has gone through for 400 years. And our lack of understanding of this change is a big flaw in our response to terrorism.

Ben P and others have begun to discuss the potential end of the American position of near-hegemony, if that end hasn't already happened. But I think the era that is passing is much more fundamental than simply the sunset of the American Century.

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Diaries

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