That political bloggers’ convention

If there is an emerging consensus among much of the Democratic Party establishment, it is that blogs are an important, potentially crucial emerging power in American politics, as reflected by the turnout of Democratic leaders here this weekend. What is less clear is how mainstream politicians like Mr. Warner — or the Senate minority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, who was scheduled to address them Saturday night — will grapple with an audience that has defined itself in part by its dissatisfaction with mainstream politicians.

Indeed, there was evidence of a gulf in the way the two sides view their relationship. For the 1,000 or so bloggers at the YearlyKos Convention here, the mission is nothing short of trying to transform the way politics are done. For some of the political leaders who stopped off for a quick panel or reception, the visits seemed more along the lines of another constituent box to be checked on the campaign circuit, whose value does not extend beyond its checkbook or voter turnout operations.

Steve Soto, who writes The Left Coaster blog, said that the Democratic leaders running the campaigns to win the House and Senate “are still treating the blogs and some of the advice from them about message and focus as unwanted solicitations from crazy relatives.”

From the NYT report of the convention.

The Observer also has a report by Paul Harris on the convention.