While attending a Howard Dean fundraiser tonight, I got to speak briefly with the Governor about the campaign weblog at blogforamerica.com. What I told him was based on my own personal experience and wasn't a pitch for Movable Type (they already use it for the weblog). I told Dean that until recently I was almost completely apathetic about politics and the presidential race. Completely discouraged after the last election and the years that have followed, I felt that my support for any candidate would be futile. However, after spending a good amount of time reading the Dean campaign site and watching/listening to the speeches, debates and rallies that they have archived online, I began to feel the sort of enthusiasm that trumps apathy and moves someone to want to support a candidate (and even attend a fundraiser). I respect the fact that the campaign is using technology wisely and they're providing a variety of online options to create a message that sticks with different types of online users. They've tapped into a valuable resource, one that will be instrumental in shaping the direction of this election.
I support Dean not because he uses our software (there are other presidential candidates using Movable Type) but because he has the sort of energy that is needed to jump-start the rather comatose Democratic party. I strongly agree with his positions on most of the "big issues" and feel that Dean -- if the current momentum is kept -- has a very good chance of winning the nomination.
I also told Dean that he needed to do his own personal weblog -- one that shows the human side of his candidacy and that isn't about politics or his messages. I, for one, want to see photo of his pets (and I mean that in all seriousness). Of course, the man is busy enough so I'll understand if he passes. Dean, however, did tell us that he believes weblogs have been making a huge impact on the presidential race and was able to sell me on their value. So, it's great to see that it's a technology that he's not only aware of but can also advocate.
Here are some photos from the event.