Planting the Netroots


A little story about me: Many years ago, back when George W. Bush was just the agreeable governor of Texas, I used to work for a Washington weekly newspaper called The Hill, covering the Democrats in Congress. I dealt with a lot of press secretaries and, as a result, ended up getting stuck on a lot of mass-email lists. I quit the job and moved to New York, but for a long time the all-capitalized subject lines kept materializing in my inbox: “DEMOCRATIC WHIP BONIOR ATTACKS…”; “SENATOR CLELAND PROPOSES…”

It seemed like it was more trouble than it was worth to unsubscribe, and gradually, as mailing lists got updated and press secretaries moved on, the press releases came less and less often. Eventually, one holdout remained: the Democratic Governors Association. No matter what I did, or what far corner of the world I went to, the DGA followed me, keeping me up to date on the doings of the likes of Jennifer Granholm and Rod Blagojevich. A lot of the press releases concerned New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, which was only natural, considering that he was the chairman of the organization from 2004 until earlier this month, and, as everyone knows, is interested in running for president in 2008. At first, these self-promoting missives were annoying, just more junk mail that squirmed through the spam filter. But eventually the DGA’s persistent updates became kind of touching–reminders of a time when I was younger and peace and surpluses reigned throughout the land.

Then, just yesterday, something strange happened. Right around 5 p.m., a message popped up in my inbox. It was from the something called the “2008 Presidential Draft Committee,” and the subject line read: “ADVISORY: NEVADANS TO MAKE MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT 2008.” The message coyly disclosed that “more than 50 prominent Nevadans” would be unveiling something this morning, and noted that “Nevada is scheduled to be the second state in the nation to hold a nomination contest, a caucus.”

Initially, I assumed this had to do with the fact I was writing the Politicker this week. But then I realized that the address this mysterious message came to, my personal email account, was not the same address I put up on this website. (Sorry–I learned my lesson about mailing lists…)

So lo and behold, I sit down at the computer this morning, and I am greeted by the following message:


Form “Draft Richardson Committee”

Las Vegas, NV–Seventy prominent Nevadans called on New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today to seek the Presidency in 2008.

“Nevada will be a lynch-pin in the Democratic Presidential nomination process in 2008 and many Nevadans believe Bill Richardson is the best choice to lead our party”, stated “Draft Committee” Chairman Reynaldo Martinez, a resident of Incline Village, and former chief of staff to U.S. Senator Harry Reid.

I wonder how these grassroots activists will convince Richardson to run?

UPDATE: Commenter Bouldin notes the that release uses an archaic, and rather unfortunate (Freudian?), spelling of the word “linchpin.”

Andrew Rice Planting the Netroots