I'm listening to a panel on political blogging and its impact on '08 here at the SXSW conference.
Best part? Krempasky and Markos are sitting next to eachother. Adorable. Markos, by the way, up close and personal-- very clean-cut and good-looking. The Bush Derangement Syndrome and anger don't show on the outside.
I pulled out some quotes, below. The whole thing was very cordial and friendly and helpful.
Markos starts by spinning failure in TX-28 as victory. Sure, conservative Democrat Henry Cuellar won, but the candidacy was a statement. Or something.
On the difference between the Right and Left blogosphere:
Krempasky: "Just because you keep hiring Bob Shrum to run presidential campaigns is not the fault of conservatives."
Markos: "There is no existing machinery. We're building it from scratch...We're gonna start building for the long-term. We're gonna really look at doing what the party and the movement should have been doing a long time ago. Our mission and their mission are entirely different things."
Krempasky: "But we can't be faulted for our enemy's lack of ability."
Predictions for Election '08:
Markos: "I think 2004, blogs were kind og the new kid on the block...they've grown since then. I think videocasting's going to be pretty big...I think there's gonna be some technologies that are gonna be higher-impact than blogs are."
Krempasky: "The successful campaign will use the things we know about politics that already work and put them into play in this new space."
Markos: "It's gonna keep growing. I haven't seen any slow-down...Obviously, it's going to be influential, but I just think we're going to share the credit."
Krempasky (on Members blogging at RedState or Kos): "Congressmen and Congresswoman never see your letters...they're not gonna hear your voice. I guarantee you that if Russ Feingold posts on campaign finance on Daily Kos and gets shredded, he gets a print-out of that."
Markos: "I can't be responsible for thousands of comments in hundreds of diaries a day and luckily the law has made it clear that I'm not responsible."
Question: "I'm a regular reader of both RedState and Kos. Neither one of you writes what I'm looking for. I'm far too left for your site, Kos. I buy into the notion that Bush was probably behind 9/11 and I know that's not allowed on your site."
Seriously. That was a real quesion.
On the possibility of impeachment:
Krempasky: "I highly encourage you to pursue that course of action."
Markos: "Mike saw how that worked for Republicans. It was an absolute disaster for them. Some people can push that, but I won't be pushing it because I see the history...And, do we really want Dick Cheney to be President? I mean, that's what happens if we're successful. I'll take George Bush over Dick Cheney. It's not a good choice, but that's what elections are for. We lost the last one and we have another one in two years and that's what we need to focus on."
On parties reaching out to bloggers in '08:
Markos: Complained about atmosphere at Democratic National Convention. They were in the nosebleed section with bad Internet connections, so he says he'll probably stay away from the actual convention next time and hang out nearby with some other bloggers.
Krempasky: "Republicans probably paid a little more attention...they literally put them at the entrance to the media center...Is there going to be a blogger primary of sorts? There's a money primary, a consultant primary, an early-endorser primary...They drive other decisions. I think there probably will well be a blogger primary of sorts."
Markos: "I think local blogs are where it's at...If a race starts looking interesting, I want a wealth of information that I can link to and point to. I'm hoping that becomes the new hotbed of growth in the blog world." Makes the point that folks on the ground in those races know more about them than a national blogger in Berkely can.
On changing the direction of Dem leadership:
Markos: "If we are going to win elections, they're going to have to screw up really bad. And not just really, really bad, but disastrous."
Krempasky: "Yeah, we'd have to have a Vice President shoot someone or something."
Markos: "Right now, the progressive blogosphere is the only partisan media for the Left."
On issue advertising on blogs:
Krempasky: "This is the envelope to a direct mailer. How do we get people to open things and keep talking about them?"