Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mike Miller Meets the Bloggers: Part One

It had to happen. Superman met Muhammad Ali. The King met Nixon. Alien met Predator. And last night, Maryland Senate President Mike Miller met the Bloggers.

How on Earth did this epochal event occur? Senator Rich Madaleno, political patron of the left-wing blogosphere, summoned us to Annapolis for an audience with the most powerful man in Maryland history to never serve as Governor. And so nine of us came from every corner of the state, some emerging from filthy basements, some crawling from cigarette-strewn alleys and others reluctantly shuffling out of comic book shops. None of us knew how the greatest culture clash since cream cheese Sushi was going to turn out.

A note on the bloggers. This may shock you, but they tend to be on the dorky side. Really. A white kid from Baltimore walked in with bright green earrings and a furry Afro. Following him was a middle-aged MoCo liberal with gray hair screaming down his back to be let loose from its unkempt pony tail. One blogger ranted about Massachusetts transportation policy to a glassy-eyed Senate President. Another earnestly pressed his essay on “Green Rail” into the hand of every legislator who would take it. The middle school teacher seemed fairly normal until he began reciting long-lost Industrial Workers of the World leaders unknown to even this former labor history instructor. Look, I’m not naming you guys, but I know you’re reading this and you know who you are.

Golly Wally, we’re a bunch of cross-eyed geeks! So why would Mike Miller and fellow attendees Madaleno, Senator Jamie Raskin and House Majority Leader Kumar Barve want to talk to a raggedy crew like us?

The answer lies with Senator Madaleno. As an occasional blogger himself, Madaleno understands that blog readers are becoming a critical niche in the state’s political scene. Blog readership may never exceed the levels achieved by MSM outlets. But Madaleno knows that blog readers tend to be better-informed, more inclined to civic activism, and more likely to volunteer and contribute to political campaigns than the average MSM readers. That makes you, dear readers, a valuable political constituency. And the Maryland Democrats are starting to realize this.

So by talking to us, Senators Miller, Madaleno, and Raskin and Delegate Barve are really talking to you. What is it that they want to tell you? You’ll just have to keep chewing on that towel and wait until Part Two to find out.

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