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A Role for Kerry's Email List in HuffPo's Creation

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, January 5 2011

Vanity Fair's William D. Cohan does a deep dive into the fight over whether James Boyce and Peter Daou were behind the creation of a framework that evolved into the Huffington Post, and one particularly relevant bit jumps out -- Boyce traces the creation moment back to a realization that even the sizable email list from the 2004 Kerry campaign, then the manifestation of the Democratic Party's best resources, was outmatched by the reach of the Drudge Report:

After licking his wounds, Boyce got to thinking. “How the f___ did we lose?” he recalls wondering. “I mean, how did that possibly happen? You know what went wrong?” He began reflecting on what could be done differently next time. He says he started talking with Thorne about the campaign’s e-mail list of three million Kerry supporters, a valuable asset. “It was almost certainly the largest political list in the world,” he says. “Definitely the largest Democratic list in the world.” He remembers coming across a statistic—whether true or not is unclear—that in the last 24 hours of the election some 36 million people had visited the Drudge Report. The numbers swirled in his head—125 million voters, 36 million people on Drudge, and the election was lost because of around 100,000 voters in Ohio—and he had his eureka moment: “John Kerry lost that election because he did not have a Drudge,” he says. “That’s why we lost.”

(Language cleaned up by me. Family blog and all.)

Boyce goes on to say, "I really looked at it like a tool for the Democratic Party. This was going to be our Drudge."