More on Kerry Blogger Meeting

Here is a fuller account Senator Kerry’s meeting with bloggers from Terri Buchman, who lives locally and attended:

“I think there was information shared at that reception at Ned Devine’s on Monday that was wildly inaccurate. The people who met with Sen. Kerry and with Teresa Heinz Kerry were not, in any way, ‘the big bloggers.’ I doubt very much you would know the names of anyone there. We were really just grassroots people.

The term bloggers is widely misunderstood and has become a shorthard term for anyone who says anything political in the online world. Sigh! We were not ‘bloggers’ in that sense. However, there are several small but very active online communities that consist of people who talk about politics and the way it impacts their lives and on what basis.

We brought people from Virginia Beach, VA in to speak to Sen. Kerry. They live in an area with military bases and see people coming and going from Iraq all the time. They talked to Sen. Kerry about the ‘kids’ who are going to Iraq and, oh, by the way, why are they going there? What is the mission? We had a woman come in from Omaha Nebraska. She wanted to talk to the Senator about her upbringing in the Evanagelical Faith community, her values and what she saw as a pressing need for integrity and truth in public service. It was like that.

Not a one of these people is a refined political commentator. (Nor am I.) But it was incredibly nice to have this meeting of about 43 people with Kerry and let him talk to people who are on the receiving end of what the government does and who care deeply about having health care, being able to afford college for their kids and so forth. This stuff is not abstract to them, it’s a part of what they live with every day.

It was also incredibly nice of Kerry and his wife to come and talk so casually and informally to us. It was a fun event. ”

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2 Responses to “More on Kerry Blogger Meeting”

  1. Rick Albertson Says:

    One point I’d like to add to what Ms. Buchman said… those online communities and others like them she mentioned are not so very small small. It’s probably safe to say that every so-called ‘small blogger’ at that particular event represented a dozen who would have been there too had logistics only allowed for that. And every so-called ‘small blogger’ probably influences several dozen more who read and respond to what he or she posts online. And, most significantly of all, every ‘small blogger’ I know of gets his or her feet out from under the desk and out there on the ground and influences dozens or even hundreds of other people every single day. The blogosphere does not exist in a vacuum, any more than the mainstream media does. There is no hard-and-fast seam there. People will *always* communicate with other people using any means necessary — newspapers, cable tv, blogs, emails, tin cans tied to a string, furtive tap-tap-taps on jailhouse walls, whatever it takes — and people like the ‘small bloggers’ are just one small subset of people who really do reach out and really do care and really do make a point of having their voices heard no matter what. What you write, they read. What they write, you read. What they say, people hear. What people say, they hear. And keeping all those many channels of communication open at all times — in *both* directions, thank you — is what makes the crucial difference between one-to-many dictating and many-to-many democracy. It has always been so, but in these times of decentralized e-ubiquity, that freedom to communicate on the citizen-to-citizen level is the most precious commodity that we can ever hope to ask for or ever seek to defend.

  2. Meredith Says:

    Thank you, Seth, for posting Terri’s overview of our meet-up with Senator Kerry and his wife.

    I am the woman from Omaha, NE, that she mentioned, and I wanted to address a couple of things from your original post from the perspective of one who had the incredible honor of helping Kerry celebrate his birthday this year.

    First, Terri is quite right that it wasn’t about high-profile or otherwise. It never even came up. I am among the least of these online supporters, really rather a nobody. But that didn’t matter, because Senator Kerry and Mrs. Heinz-Kerry don’t view people through a filter of who is or is not important. Or how much power they have. Or who can be useful to them. They treat each individual as a person of value, simply because they are a fellow human being. They recognize that every person is a rare and beautiful treasure and they treat them accordingly.

    Second, this was not about any of us gaining “access” to Senator Kerry. When we all started making our travel arrangements, it was not even certain that we’d be able to attend the bigger birthday reception, much less meet with them on our own. We decided as Kerry supporters to meet up in Boston regardless of whether or not we had access to him because our support and admiration of him doesn’t come with strings attached. The fact that they made time for us in what was an extremely busy day for them is simply a reflection of how touched they were at this display of support. They are so humble…they honestly didn’t dream that so many of us would come from so far for them. I consider their meeting with us to be a way for them to tell us thank you. But we all would have come even without that.

    Third, regardless of how any news articles may spin it, this was not about ’08. I can tell you–even if Senator Kerry had previously made some official announcement that he was NOT running, we all would have still been there. You don’t get a chance too often to support a leader with that level of integrity and character. We value Senator Kerry for who he is and the attitude of genuine service he has toward what he does, for the way he cares about people. Those are qualities that go far beyond politics. When somebody like that has a birthday, we believe that’s a cause for celebration. And that’s what we were about this weekend–celebrating the life of an incredible individual.

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