The Cluetrain candidate

· long story short

Influential weblogger, academic, consultant and author David Weinberger (one of the coauthors of the Cluetrain Manifesto), has come out For Howard Dean:

[W]hat I’ve been doing so far: Sundry writing for the campaign and talking with them about Net issues. I’ve also done a little speaking on behalf of the campaign – well, once, substituting for Joe Trippi, the campaign manager, at a panel in DC on the Internet and democracy. Now I’ll be doing more writing, advising and speaking for the campaign. I’m thrilled, of course. Why Dean? Because he’s the candidate closest to my views who can beat Bush.

Dean does seem to be gaining momentum and intelligently pursuing the Internet (and blogs in particular) as a new transformative communications medium.
John Robb feels that Rove and the other Republican machers will decipher the blogosphere right quick and turn it to the dark side of the force, but in the meantime it’s hard to deny the sense that Dean is on the right track.
Some are concerned that he will peak too early, or is too liberal, or too conservative. If he can survive the money primary, the Iowa caucus, New Hampshire and South Carolina, he’s going to be a contender to the end.
I think I prefer Kerry’s politics but he seems moldy. I considered Edwards the most electable (and I relished an open fight over “trial lawyers” and pseudopopulism) and he may have fire in the belly, but he isn’t catching on the way Dean is.
I feel that the current Republican leadership represents such an extreme vision in an already polarized environment that I feel a broad coalition is called for of everyone who feels we could be doing better in at least one major area. I don’t think we all have to agree about war, the economy, the WTO, cloning, the environment or what-have-you, as long as we agree in general on the need to stop this destructive runaway administration.
Weinberger says

The Dean campaign has been doing an astounding job of energizing a base of voters who haven’t cared enough to come to the polls before. I like that strategy a lot better than trying to get 51% of the center by out-Bushing Bush. And no campaign has ever gotten the Internet so right. … They understand that it’s about giving voice to the "ends" of the Net (AKA us), that it means they lose some control of their message, that they need to enable groups to self-organize, that it’s about listening and conversations more than about center-out broadcasting.