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Blogged Down in Connecticut

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 24 2006

"TV and high-priced hired-gun TV ad makers no longer rule campaigns. Bloggers have taken their place." That's the judgment of veteran political journalist Paul Bass, surveying the state of the Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut, where maverick candidate Ned Lamont is challenging three-termer Joe Lieberman.

He writes:

A virus is dogging three-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman. One of its gestation spots is www.youtube.com, a web site where anyone can post a homemade video.

Go there and search for "Ned Lamont." He's the liberal Greenwich businessman staging a spirited challenge to Lieberman for the Democratic nomination.

Up spring a queue of videos posted by bloggers who love Lamont and despise Lieberman. There's Ned on WFSB-TV. Ned giving a speech in Southbury. Ned on "Beyond the Headlines." A montage of Ned photos and messages played to the tune of "Rock The Boat."

Now search for "Joe Lieberman." Up spring a queue of videos posted by bloggers who ... love Lamont and despise Lieberman. Joe on TV defending the war in Iraq. Joe equivocating on Bush's illegal wiretapping. A montage of Abu Ghraib torture and President Bush and Joe Lieberman photos played to the tune of "Masters of War."

Bass profiles some of the key bloggers shaking up the CT race, including CTblogger, Keith Crane of Dumpjoe.com, Kelly Monaghan of Myleftnutmeg.com, and Aldon Hynes, who is blogging officially for Lamont.

Bass sees Hynes and the Lamont campaign as "unbottl[ing] an anarchic, grassroots explosion of democratic participation," on that he thinks "offers us the potential to reclaim our political system from the sell-outs and their Svengalis."

Time will tell if the Lamont-Lieberman race lives up to this tantalizing picture.