| Yesterday I posted on an editorial from a local Iowa paper that gave Sen. Chris Dodd a very positive review. The post started a small discussion about the viability of Dodd and who the top tier candidates are. I was going to include this as a comment on it, but it grew long. I think it merits a larger discussion and would like to hear your thoughts on where the netroots stands with regards to furthering the success of presidential candidates who aren't considered to be in the top tier by the mainstream press.
I think it's really sad that the one place where all candidates should be given a fair shake based on what they've done and what they stand for -- the blogosphere -- has fully adopted the same conventional wisdom that is put forth by people like Chris Mathews, Adam Nagourney, and the staff of The Politico. Namely, that the Democrats have a three person race between Clinton, Obama, and Edwards and no one else stands a chance.
Blogs should be capable of challenging that assumption and enable other people to receive the same internal consideration as the bigger names. In this cycle, the ones who lose out are Richardson, Dodd, Kucinich and Biden. From what I've seen, bloggers have generally been willing to swallow the CW pill that says these four are not serious candidates and thus don't need to dedicate attention to them.
Yet within these four are the three Democrats in the race with the strongest positions on ending the war. Richardson has called for zero residual forces. Dodd supports Reid-Feingold -- something Clinton, Obama, Biden, and Edwards have not done or said they would do. Kucinich has been for defunding the war for years.
Bill Clinton and Howard Dean succeeded because grassroots activists took them seriously when the mainstream press did not. I find it sad that this cycle the grassroots, particularly grassroots pundits on the blogs, has shown no real willingness to part ways from the mainstream press assessment of who is viable and who is not.
If the second tier candidate - the issue candidate - is dead, it is we who have killed it.