Stop me if you've heard this one...
A lesser-known candidate attracts a small following of dedicated supporters by the promise of being different than your usual Washington DC elected officials. Taking advantage of these supporters' talent in getting the word out over the internet, scheduling meetups of other potential supporters, raising funds and generally building up a wave of enthusiasm that carries the candidate to national prominence, that same candidate starts taking on the trappings of traditional politicians-consultants, pollsters, campaign managers from inside the Beltway-and slowly, but heartbreakingly surely, the candidate moves away from those netroots supporters that got him where he was.
Sound like anyone you know?
Well, to Lowell Feld and Nate Wilcox, authors of Netroots Rising: How A Citizen Army Of Bloggers And Online Activists Is Changing American Politics this is altogether too familiar a story. Lowell and Nate are veterans of several netroots campaigns, such as Wesley Clark, Jim Webb, Tim Kaine, and Mark Warner. Netroots Rising documents instance after instance where candidates are profoundly grateful for the support and work of the netroots only to distance himself after surrounded by those desperate not to change the status quo of the power circles.
I am hosting the Book Salon discussing Netroots Rising at Firedoglake starting now 5:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Pacific. Come join us and let's discuss the growing power of the netroots and how we can get our voices heard.