Senator Clinton, Itchy Kos Crowd in Bloggy Battle

On Friday, Adam Lambert (Clammyc) and David Dayen (DDay) chatted in the main lobby wearing buttons with a slash through the words “Clinton Dynasty.” They said that they looked forward to hearing what Mrs. Clinton had to say for herself, though they doubted she had much in common with the convention-goers.

“She exists in a sort of defensive crouch,” Mr. Dayen said. “The blogosphere and the Netroots has risen out of a frustration for that kind of politics. We’re confident. We want somebody who is proud of their ideals.”

Otherwise, Mr. Lambert added, “you end up in too much of a triangulation situation.”

The bloggers’ name tags (Jotter, WanderIndiana, Fresh Snaps) hung from bright orange straps around their necks. Between seminars, they checked out the bulletin board (notices included “Blogger Required, Inquire Within,” “Draft Gore” and “Meet Netroots Superstar Eric Massa”) and browsed dozens of booths. One sold “Goodbye George” calendars, which counted down the days until President Bush leaves office. Others offered information about the groups “Drinking Liberally” and “Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.”

The Clinton campaign was one of only two (the other was Bill Richardson’s) to set up shop in the room, and so many people asked whether she would be attending the conference that the two young Clinton volunteers put up a sign announcing that yes, Hillary would be coming at noon the next day.

Jill Richardson (OrangeClouds115) sold T-shirts that read “Vegetables of Mass Destruction” and “Every Time You Shop at Wal-Mart God Kills a Kitten” and talked about the benefits of being a “locavore.” (“The payoff comes in freshness and flavor,” she said.)

Around her, bloggers picked at tuna or vegan box lunches, sipped from Sprites and Cokes and tapped on their laptop keyboards. In the main ballroom, the labor leader Andy Stein talked about how the 2008 Olympics “are going to be like Sputnik.”

Up two flights of escalators, pollster Stanley Greenberg, MoveOn.org Washington director Tom Mattzie, and Mark Blumenthal, the editor and publisher of Pollster.com, participated in a panel called Public Opinion Matters: Iraq and the 2008 Campaign. A questioner asked how real Hillary’s lead was.

“It’s an interesting question,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “And I think it is the question.”

On Saturday morning, there was a rush on the last remaining yellow bracelets that would gain them entrance into room 105c, where Mrs. Clinton was scheduled to make remarks. By noon, a steady flow of traffic filled the halls leading to the room. Along the way, bloggers plugged their laptops into every available electric outlet and sat against the walls like glowing potted plants. Bracelet-wearing audience members passed through a security check and took their seats. Dozens of reporters, including correspondents of The Washington Post, Time, and at least three correspondents from The New York Times perched in a horseshoe around them.

Mr. Wolfson walked in and made light of Mrs. Clinton’s poor showing in a poll of Daily Kos readers.

“We’re at 9 percent and rising—we’re hoping to get into the double digits,” Mr. Wolfson said, adding, “This is a great group of progressive activists.”