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June 27, 2006

YearlyKos Speakers

Talking to Gina Cooper, I fear I may have misrepresented the way convention speakers were chosen at YearlyKos. According to her, here's how it went:

Six candidates -- Warner, Kerry, Clark, Clinton, Feingold, and Edwards were all offered lunch spots. Scheduling problems kept the non-Warner candidates from accepting/confirming. There was not a second option for a convention-wide speech; if you weren't going to do the lunch, your only option was a Friday panel. Vilsack, Richardson, and others were not proactively offered slots, but could have asked. As Gina points out, the volunteer staff was not trying to organize a primary debate, and information on the conference was publicly available for interested speakers.

There were, in my conversations, various 2008 campaigns who felt they should've been able to address the convention but there was little flexibility on the organizing side. Gina argues that this wasn't a convention for presidential candidates, and so the organizers vowed to keep it from being a presidential mixer and confine the glitz to the Saturday lunch. Current conceptions of the convention focus on the appearance of presidential aspirants, but it was really about the blogs, not the campaigns, and so the analysis is backwards. It wasn't for the convention to bend to the aspirant's schedules, but for those who wanted to address the place to work within the schedule's confines. Additionally, campaigns could hold their own events, as with the Clark and Warner parties or the Richardson breakfast.

June 27, 2006 | Permalink


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Thanks Ezra :) gina

Posted by: gina | Jun 27, 2006 11:50:28 AM

As I said, smart, honest and a mensch.

And I like Neil too. But not that post . . .

Posted by: Armando | Jun 27, 2006 11:57:44 AM

one more thing, we want to just provide a forum for people and ideas. We are 100% committed to not taking sides in the primary battle.

At the same time, we are an all volunteer organization. Campaigns with PAID STAFFERS whose jobs are all about outreach would do well to...reach out.

We will be doing something similar next year. We hope that more than one candidate recognizes the opportunity and makes it a priority.

But again, our convention is about the netroots. So don't expect us to jump through hoops. We won't.

Posted by: gina | Jun 27, 2006 11:58:08 AM

And, quite frankly, I think a lot of people (including myself) looked down on Warner for only doing a stump speech an a photo-op conference with selected bloggers (including me), and not substantively engaging with the panels like others did.

Posted by: Adam | Jun 27, 2006 12:34:21 PM

"Five candidates -- Warner, Kerry, Clark, Clinton, Feingold, and Edwards"

Five is the new six.

Posted by: FMguru | Jun 27, 2006 12:37:42 PM

Boy do I wish I knew which campaigns were the "various campaigns who felt they should've been able to address the convention".

I'd put at least $100 down that Kerry's campaign was one of them and a couple grand that so was Clinton.

Posted by: Marc | Jun 27, 2006 12:49:52 PM

I was only a basic volunteer at Yearly Kos, but I can tell you based on my observations, conversations and emails, that the primary concern was having a successful convention. Gina worked very, very hard on the schedule. That schedule kept changing all the way up to the moment the convention opened as speakers jockeyed for slots and Gina struggled to accomodate them.

Gina hugely impressed me with her willingness to work with every speaker to try and fit them in. Nobody was treated with favoritism that I observed.

It would have been great to have all of the people who did not attend there: Kerry, Hillary, Edwards and many, many more. I would have enjoyed hearing them. But they chose not to come for various reasons. I hope I get to see some of them next year.

Posted by: Andy Ternay | Jun 27, 2006 1:09:45 PM

Nice catch, FM. I'd be surprised if HRC had wanted to attend. Her campaign has been pretty actively not interacting with the Kosworld.

Posted by: Brad Johnson | Jun 27, 2006 1:11:26 PM

I was also just a volunteer -- but I saw some of the scheduling process. The six candidates listed above were all given opportunities to speak, but their representatives stated they had very strict scheduling demands that didn't fit with the opportunities available. Moreover, many of these candidates' offers to speak came at the 11th hour, just days before the convention, when the schedule was mostly set -- and after Gina & Co. had accomodated the schedules of dozens of speakers who were flying in from all over the country. Like Gina said, this convention was about the netroots, and she wasn't about to upset the entire schedule at the last minute and turn everything upside down to accomodate one persons' narrow scheduling parameters, even if that person is a VIP politico.

Posted by: pontificator | Jun 27, 2006 3:12:39 PM

MAY have misrepresented?

you spent a couple of paragraphs directly implying that the reason that Warner got the lunch spot was the influence of Jerome Armstrong.

Cut the crap, Ezra. You went way out on a limb to defend Neil's attack on Jerome, and now you find yourself in the same unethical boat that he does.

Posted by: p.lukasiak | Jun 27, 2006 5:50:35 PM

Seems like the thing to do is have someone not running for office, like Jimmy Carter for example, give the keynote to everybody. Those with PACs or running for office need to be on a panel so they have to think off the top of their heads. Nobody wants to hear them talk about themselves. People want to learn something from panelists. If candidates want to host parties or just be there to mingle with people and shake hands, that's cool. Probably should have some parameters on the parties. There's such a thing as over-doing it. If YKos is in Iowa next year, say as an example, hosting a picnic or kegger seems like the way to go. Keep it low budget or everybody feels uncomfortable later.

Posted by: ljm | Jun 27, 2006 6:16:32 PM

ljm - interesting ideas.

The parties were not YKOS organized, sponsored, endorsed or sanctioned. If a candidate (or possible candidate) wants to rent some space in the same town on their own and throw a shindig, it's their choice and their dollar.

(I am a volunteer staffer and manage media relations for YearlyKos Convention)

Posted by: siun | Jun 27, 2006 6:31:57 PM

If YKos is in Iowa next year...

Noooooooo! anywhere but Iowa (or New Hampshire).

(I am a volunteer staffer and manage media relations for YearlyKos Convention)

and you did a great job siun...in fact, your did too good a job. ;)

Posted by: p.lukasiak | Jun 27, 2006 6:50:03 PM

ahh p.lukasiak! merci -I think! We had an awesome media team - and a lot of laughs!

I haven't heard NH or Iowa mentioned for YKOS2 and we will be asking for community ideas on locations soon.

Posted by: siun | Jun 27, 2006 8:02:53 PM

closing italics?

Posted by: siun | Jun 27, 2006 8:04:44 PM

thanx to whoever closed my italics for me.

Posted by: p.lukasiak | Jun 28, 2006 1:21:20 PM

You mention many of them accepting at the last minute, but my impression was that Richardson was the only one to do that.

Clark was speaking at the Democratic Convention in Texas later that day, so yes, he did have somewhere else to be.

People keep talking about how savvy Warner is, and Armstrong for that matter, yet surely Clark showed more understanding of the community with his lower key party?

And in a way, I'd have to say that delivering a keynote instead of taking part in a panel seemed a bit out of step, too --- a politician doing a commercial, instead of participating in the community.

But what sounded most out-of-step --- and again, I assume Armstrong was responsible --- was free t-shirts with Warner's picture and the logo YearlyKos 2006, as if YearlyKos had been put together to crown him king. Where surely only a picture of Markos or Gina could have been appropriate.

Posted by: catherineD | Jun 29, 2006 3:19:15 AM

As one of the organizers for YearlyKos I want to reinforce everything that has been said about the politicians last minute attempts to attend YK and our policy of informing them what positions were available rather than them telling us when they would grace us with their presence. We specifically wanted to involve the candidates in face to face discussions with members of the Daily Kos and other blogging communities rather than simply providing them an opportunity to try out their stump speeches. But I'd also like to point out that the T-Shirts that the Warner people created with the YearlyKos logo was done without our knowledge or permission. I can understand the Warner camp's desire to support YearlyKos but they didn't take into consideration our inability to support them in their Presidential bid. YearlyKos is all about the netroots and will not and can not support any particular candidate, whether it be for President or School Board. I want to make sure that is very, very clear.

Posted by: Shanna | Jul 4, 2006 10:13:46 PM

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