Congratulations to my friend and occasional co-conspirator Lance Dutson, who announced today he’s taking a job as Director of Internet Strategy for Maine Senator Susan Collins’ re-election campaign.
As I can attest but many already know, Lance is razor-sharp and as forward on the curve as anybody I’ve met when it comes to seeing, exploring, and making great things come from the tools of new media. He and I have shared many great conversations about the ways that Maine politicians can better harness these technologies, and I’m happy that he has a chance to put his ideas to the test. I expect great things for the campaign and for the people of Maine.
For the Maine residents who think this inside politics talk a year before the election, please let me share my explanation for why Lance’s hire is much more important than that. With Congressman Tom Allen jump-starting his bid for Senator Collins’ seat, the “netroots”, or the very far left liberal blogosphere for those not familiar, already have their sights set on taking this seat, handing it to Congressman Allen, and putting the Senate further under democratic party control. With netroots attention comes thousands, potentially millions, of dollars of out-of-state money– not to mention opinions– from people across the country, all brought to bare towards the goal of defeating Senator Collins. Since those who watch politics closely already know that the left is doing a superior job marshaling online resources and money in this way via new media channels that we’re frankly behind on in Maine, it’s easy to see how Maine people can potentially be left out of deciding who becomes their next Senator.
If you don’t like those prospects– if you want the race to be about Maine issues, decided primarily by Maine people– then you recognize that a strong new media force to face that of Allen’s out-of-state netroots supporters is not only necessary, but critical. I have the highest hopes that with Lance working for Senator Collins in this capacity, her fortunes- and thus ours as Mainers- have improved greatly.