Skip to content

The Transformative Campaign Blogger: Matt Gross

     Listen here.  There’s a nice chicken-and-egg argument to be had whether Howard Dean harnessed the bloggers or, contrarily, the blog zeitgeist found and inflated the Dean candidacy.  Either way, I think the late Theodore (Making of the President) White would begin his narrative of the 2004 cycle with the “open thread” of the Dean blog, from the moment last Spring when the Dean people relaunched their main page on comment-friendly Movable Type software, called it “Blog for America” and turned a campaign into a public conversation.  Mathew Gross, 31, was the stray volunteer from Utah, a writer-blogger who’d also been a rock drummer and a Colorado River guide, who put blogging at the center of the Democrats’ nominating campaign.  Since 1960, he remarked in our conversation this afternoon, “presidential politics has been a broadcast medium and a spectator sport.”  Blog for America may have changed that forever.  The Internet money machine for Dean is important, of course, but so is the blog discourse–hip, disciplined, hopeful.  Matt Gross sets the tone: “Widen the circle,” he writes.  “We must build the community now.  We have to stay focused.”  Anticipating Dave Winer’s BloggerCon at Harvard in October, Matt Gross had his own interesting forum the other day on “how blogs can create/are creating a better election.”  His is a blog getting hundreds of posts and now 30,000 visits a day.  The open thread reads to me not like agit-prop.  It’s more nearly a sort of soundtrack, with abundant links, of center-left Democrats trying to make up their mind that the ex-governor of Vermont is tough enough, and good enough, to take the country back.  It’s the lefties that are holding out.  I was struck by the response from Mike in CT two weeks ago:



A Case Against the Case Against the Case For Howard Dean: Can We All Stop This Madness? …Truth be told, I’m still waiting for a minority radical feminist who puts renewable energy above everything else and guts the military budget to invest in renewable state-of-the-art public schools (including free college education). But you know what? I’ll be waiting a little while longer. While I could write articles saying Dennis Kucinich isn’t my dream candidate – “After all, one need not point out that our candidate of hope is not EVEN a minority radical feminist.” – while I could do this, I don’t. And why? Because today there is a bigger fight to be fought.


Clever writing.  Serious politics.  Here’s Matt Gross.  As the old pols say, get to know him before you need him.

{ 16 } Comments

  1. Anonymous | September 13, 2003 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    What the hell is a “blog zeitgeist”?!?!? More vacuous attempts at profoundity from our resident psuedo-”intellectual”.

  2. Anonymous | September 13, 2003 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Yeah, Chris, please don’t use any more words that people might have learned in college or from old issues of Spy magazine.

    Huh, get a dictionary or go read the funny papers.

  3. Anonymous | September 13, 2003 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, it’s so easy to sling barbs from behind a computer screen, ain’t it?

  4. Anonymous | September 14, 2003 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    This is OT but I just wanted to say that I downloaded the complete collected interviews yesterday, and made a CD of them that I have been listening to in my car.

    Wow.

    The best thing about the interviews is that they fire off so many of my neurons listening to them. It’s the opposite of the sedating, numbing, “receive only” character of a lot of media. I’ve been blogging a few of the ideas that occured to me while listening.

  5. Anonymous | September 14, 2003 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    oops. For some reason the end of the post got cut off.
    I’ve been blogging a few of the ideas that occured to me while listening. I’m not sure you can post embedded URLs in these comments, so here is the link: http://www.cadence90.com/blogs/2003_09_01_nixon_archives.html#106351387257846795

  6. Anonymous | September 17, 2003 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Why isn’t anyone interviewing Dennis Kucinich? I listnend to his comments in one of the disscussions involving all the candidates and he seemed to be the only one speaking for the real working Americans. It seems the whole blogging world is gushing over Howard Dean while the other candidates are just being ignored. How is this different from CNN ignoring candidates they don’t like? they have their Pets and you have yours. The thing that seems to make Dean so special is that he was able to get people to pay. But the “new new media” needs to give a fair chance to all folks. Not the ones they like.

    Just a little mirror for all the Blogging-pom-pom shakers. Take a look in the mirror. and try to be fair and balanced. (not a’la the “Lying Liars”, but for real, for a change).

    Maybe you should try to get Dennis Kucinich in here yer blog pages Chris?

  7. Anonymous | September 27, 2003 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    christopher,
    seconding lnin yo’s comment, i’d love to be able to listen to you interview dennis kucinich… i hope you will consider it. thanks! love your site…

  8. RickVallen | March 13, 2009 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Nice post and blog
    Thanks for sharing

  9. Sportsboy | December 9, 2009 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    “presidential politics has been a broadcast medium and a spectator sport.” It is common problem in most of the countries. Even it is not good for sports

  10. leke kremi | March 31, 2010 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    You are the best. Thank you

  11. leke kremi | September 27, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Howard Dean while the other candidates are just being ignored. How is this different from CNN ignoring candidates they don’t like? they have their Pets and you have yours

  12. meubles de cuisine | November 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    meuble salle de bain

  13. The Penthouse | April 5, 2011 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Yes… The best thing about the interviews is that they fire off so many of my neurons listening to them. It’s the opposite of the sedating, numbing, “receive only” character of a lot of media. I’ve been blogging a few of the ideas that occured to me while listening.

  14. dizi | May 15, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The best thing about the interviews is that they fire off so many of my neurons listening to them. It’s the opposite of the sedating, numbing, “receive only” character of a lot of media. I’ve been blogging a few of the ideas that occured to me while listening.

  15. EdH | September 16, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Dean’s approach did not make a public conversation…it was a gathering of the like-minded affirming themselves.

  16. bola tangkas online | October 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Some truly marvelous work on behalf of the owner of this web site, absolutely outstanding articles.