Ed Driscoll

How To Miss An Opportunity To Reach 117,000 People

Tech Republican notes, “Washington Democrat Congressman Brian Baird bailed on an appearance just this week – and now he wishes he hadn’t.”

Politicians back out of events all the time.

Washington Democrat Congressman Brian Baird bailed on an appearance just this week – and now he wishes he hadn’t.

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird backed out of a promise to hold a living room meeting at the home of a Pacific County Republican chairwoman, the GOP activist said Monday.

Nan Malin of Long Beach said a Baird staffer told her the private meeting was nixed because of unspecified posts Malin had written on a right-leaning blog.

Ten, even five, years ago, he could have gotten away with this cowardice.

But today, in this age of transparency and when everything we do is documented online (the good and the bad) – politicians need to be aware of just who they’re standing up.

With just a little research Baird’s office would know that “Nan Malin of Long Beach” is actually Nansen Malin or @nansen on Twitter – one of THE top conservatives on Twitter with over 117,000 followers.

She is the highest ranking non-political celebrity on the right on one of the largest social networking platforms in the world.

Suddenly an intimate townhall can turn into an opportunity to share a message with an audience that could fill a college football stadium. Especially during a time when people are so passionate about this healthcare reform debate.

The saddest part of this story is that Baird’s staff had the opportunity to fix this mis-step before it happened with a simple google search.

Or, perhaps Baird’s office knew the size and scope of Malin’s following, but were too afraid to go down that road.

Either way this is a prime example of a fundamental misunderstanding of modern media and the way that voters communicate with their peers.

With viral Internet social networking and a plurality of Americans getting political news online, negative feedback travels – and it travels fast.

Let this be a lesson for conservative campaigns that we can be smarter and better organized than this.

Of course, if Baird doesn’t want to listen to his constituents, they can always express their concerns with this guy.

Meanwhile, Steve Green and Dana Loesch explore the flip-side of the flexible new media: a statist leader addressing your kids directly. As always, ask yourself how the media would respond if this was President Bush.