[UPDATE: the second of the two bloggers just quit.]
Why wouldn't John Edwards fire his loose cannon bloggers?
I don't buy the line that he's afraid of fouling his relationship with the netroots. Shakepeare's Sister and Pandagon are interesting B-list blogs. (Which admittedly makes RS Daily a D-Lister, traffic wise.) But it's not like he'd be canning Markos Moulitsas or Duncan Black. It's not like he'd be making himself the next Joe Lieberman by letting two bloggers go.
Really, it makes no sense strategically. Your campaign tried to buy some cred in the netroots by putting a pair of liberal bloggers on payroll. A questionable call, journo-ethics-wise, but whatever. Their South-Park styled ramblings about "Cristofacists," Mary, Plan B contraception, and the "hot, sticky" Holy Spirit draw easy moral outrage from cranky Catholics. And that's when you call the partnership off.
You don't have to disparage the blogrrrls themselves — just express personal distaste at their religious insensitivity and quickly sever ties. Hell, even wish them well in their edgy ventures and give them a sweet bonus on the way out the door, but make it clear that they are not the voice of your campaign.
The story dissapears, except perhaps in the murkier regions of the Malkinsphere — but that's not where your voters are anyway. You take a hit in the Netroots, sure. But you shore up your support with Catholic Swing voters! At worst it's a wash. At best its a Sistah Souljah moment.
Instead, Edwards keeps the bloggers on, and the story eats up all his oxygen, gaining far more attention than his bold plan for universal health care. Clearly his consultants can't have signed off on this plan. And since when is John Edwards such a blogophile that he'd stick his neck out for two of the lone liberal women bloggers?
Check out the bottom of this Pandagon post announcing the hire of Melissa McEwan, aka Shakespeare's Sister,
the one who's still with the campaign, and I think we have a clue as to who might have been the driving force in this train-wreck.
It's like a big Edwards 2008 locomotive is going through the bloggrrlsphere, and it has now picked up Melissa McEwan, well-known to most of you as Shakespeare's Sister.
She's on board as Netroots Coordinator, so she'll be working with Amanda (my earlier post here). I'm glad she's getting a paycheck after blogging for a good while there without a FT job.
You can't say that they aren't a savvy crew over there at Team Edwards, because they are scooping up the big guns on the almost-A list (they are both A in my book, but we know what I mean when it comes to the big boyz). The folks here and at Shakes Sis are large, politically engaged and active readers — and will give the Edwards camp a fair hearing. I'm sure that these developments are due to Elizabeth Edwards, who is well-versed and ever-present in the blogosphere.