Maybe it's because I live in Berkeley. But I sense that America is ready for dramatic political change. We are back in 1968. The Iraq war has radicalized the country. This is no outraged-as-usual American public. The country is ready, as Newsweek's Jonathan Alter tells us, for a new open-source politics.
So will it be Gore or John Edwards or Hillary or Russ Feingold?
Who will be 2008's Howard Dean? I think that somebody is going to ride the populist wave of the blogosphere to at least the Democratic nomination in 08. I think that someone from the Democratic pack will take advantage of the new mass digital media to radicalize American party politics.
On this week's KCRW's "Left, Right and Center" show, Arianna Huffington spoke highly of Al Gore's speech at the WSJ's All Things Digital event, implicitely suggesting that Gore would be the most dynamic Democratic candidate. I didn't hear the speech, but others disagree with Arianna, saying that Gore was typically verbose and meandering. Other leading Democrats have suggested to me that even if Gore was to run, he isn't sufficiently comfortable with the two-way democracy of the digital media to truly embrace it.
Yesterday, I interviewed Andrew Rasiej, founder of the Personal Democracy Forum, and one of the most perceptive liberal Democratic thinkers on interactive politics. Rasiej is intrigued by John Edwards, who he sees as having the potential of harnessing and benefiting from the anti Bush outrage in American politics. The Rasiej interview will appear later next week on afterTV. I'm also working on interviewing Edwards.
But Rasiej is not optimistic than anyone, even Edwards, in the current group of leading Democrats, is really willing to embrace the Internet and blog openly, on a daily basis, to the American public. Rasiej thinks that this will only happen when a younger generation of political activists, who have grown up in the blogosphere, come to power.
I asked Rasiej for an example of this type of activist.
Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, he said, refering to the Berkeley based founder of the Daily Kos.
Maybe its because I live in Berkeley, but -- Iraq war or not -- it's hard to imagine the next President of the United States coming from the Berkeley Hills.