Monday, January 09, 2006

Sherrod Brown Won't Meet the Bloggers

George has the voicemail posted on BFD. I've mentioned before that all in all I like Sherrod Brown. And I'll commit blogger blasphemy and say that I like Phil DeVelis. He's been straight with me, when we had a problem, we worked it out well and he seems like all in all a pretty decent guy. So when I heard his subdued explanation for Sherrod bailing out, my heart sank for both of them.

One can read this two ways. First, that Sherrod is making a political calculus that sitting down across Russo is poses too great a risk of a blowup that will embarrass him, no matter how it plays out. That's fair enough, though I think it's unfounded. On the one hand, the other folks in the room wouldn't allow Tim to get out of control, so Sherrod only need check himself and there's no real downside. Meanwhile, the upside would have been considerable -- Brown could have shown that he can rise above whatever Rashamon moment happened at the ODP soiree. Instead, he looks risk-averse. Not the worst thing in the world, but not likely to inspire the masses either.

The second possible reading of the cancellation is considerably more negative -- that MTB is Tim's baby (along with George and Bill) and Sherrod won't give the satisfaction to that guy who cursed at his wife. I hope Brown's motivation isn't as churlish as that. In any event, I fear that many in the blogosphere will read it that way.

Someone in one of the BFD comments said that Brown's campaign is done. I don't think so. As I've said before, I think it's easy to overestimate how much events in the blogosphere spill into real life. But there's no doubt that a good MTB appearance would have helped his campaign, and that cancelling hurts him.

5 comments:

FamineHorse said...

Both possibilities you list may be true.

It may be time for the Brown campaign to ignore the blogosphere completely. This last stumble may have made the blog environment too nuclear for Sherrod.

Ohio 2nd said...

Funny, I was just telling Mrs. Editor the same thing this morning.

anastasia said...

I think he's done, not because people are going to get all incensed about what he's done to a small group of bloggers but because of what how he's handled this particular incident indicates for how he's going to handle himself in general during the campaign. This incident reveals that all my worst fears about how weak Brown would run against DeWine are true. Does he think the Republicans are going to be all respectful and talk nice and not spread dirt about his family? Ha! What rock has he been living under? If he can't take a little razzing from Tim Russo and just roll his eyeballs, he's going to collapse once the swift-boaters get in gear — and they will.

Anne said...

Tim Russo's blog has mysteriously shut down. Anyone really know anything about this guy? Does he have cred, or could he have been a plant of some sort?

Don't flame, please. Just asking, because the whole thing smells hinky.

Pho said...

Anne,

I've met him. Lots of people know him better than I. He actually was the most enviable guy on the planet -- a blogger paid to blog. I also met the guy who was running the site.

I have two other posts on the blog with links to other stuff detailing what we know about Tim and about his sudden vanishing act.