I just got a nice note from Lynne (Left in Lowell) saying "there should be more bloggers in politics."
What an interesting confluence this is.....I started this blog because there was discussion in the editorial pages (it might have been in the blogosphere, but I was uninitiated at that point) about "women's voices" in the media. A college classmate and I were discussing it and I said "yeah, I should go back to writing op-eds and humor pieces....I'm not in elected office anymore and don't have to worry about people not being comfortable with a 'funny' Selectman." She said "Why don't you start a blog? Your voice will be heard outside the boundaries of Berkshire County."
That was less than a year ago. From that first post or two, I "met" this whole group of people, most of whom I've never laid eyes on, and we have debated, discussed, dissed and diced to our hearts' content. It's been glorious. They're smart, savvy and socially conscious -- my kind of people. In the isolation of a Berkshire winter, they provide warmth and sustenance until the crocuses come up.
Imagine my surprise then, on Monday night, when my husband and I are driving to a campaign event in Charlemont (and I can now tell you that it's pronounced like the ch in "church" not like the Sh sound in Charlemagne or Champagne!) and we hear my good friend Carrie Saldo on WAMC (poor kid started out covering Selectman's meetings in Williamstown for the North Adams Transcript and look where she is now! Berkshire Bureau staff on NPR!) that "while Margaret Ware couldn't be reached for comment, a message on her blog stated, "......"
And then some people actually went and looked at my blog! And friends like Michael DiChiara, filling in a colleague returning from vacation, directed her to my blog. It's awesome!
Now, there is only one drawback to this "bloggers in politics" thing. There will now be a certain professiona patina to my musings and pronouncements. The reality of a political campaign, and life in general, is that everything that is public (and even things you don't THINK are public) are grist for the mill. And voters wonder why their elected officials and candidates waffle! So the goal is to maintain the honesty of this vehicle and its ability to ask tough questions and get feedback without feeling like I have to measure my every word for fear it will be misinterpreted. There has to be a certain measure of goodwill in a campaign. Hopefully the other candidates and I will have it among ourselves. Certainly we hope that the voters cut us some slack. Print and broadcast media -- what thinkest thou?