Inside the Mind of the World's Most Powerful Liberal Blogger

MOULITSAS: I mean, I could have a perfect won-loss record had I so-called 'endorsed' every incumbent Democrat running for the Senate, because not a single one lost in the Senate in 2004. And in the House, the only incumbent that lost was one guy in Indiana and a couple in Texas that were redistricted out by Tom Delay. So, the goal, of course, was never to try to win as many of these races, like I said. The goal was to expand the playing field, put pressure on Republicans everywhere, force them to play defense, and wave the Democratic flag in districts that had not seen a competitive Democrat in decades.

TAPPER: And when you guys get involved, what does that entail? Obviously you're following the race, you're following developments, you're linking to news stories about each race. What else are you doing?

MOULITSAS: We're doing some -- we're doing some fundraising as well. The best benefit that blogs can provide a campaign is actually to build buzz. We write about them, we talk about them. The traditional media now starts picking up on races, you know, and generate[s] local stories. It provides earned media for the candidates we're supporting. It generates attention from traditional party organizations, the labor unions. And the issue groups that might not have even known that race existed and not have considered putting money into it now realize, 'OK, this is getting a lot of buzz, we're going to start putting resources into the race.' It motivates a lot of big-dollar donors to put money into these candidates.

So I think one of the biggest mistakes that the party makes and candidates do, when they look at the blogs, is that they think it's a money machine. And in fact, we're really a buzz machine, and if you create enough buzz, then by default -- and not really by default -- one of the side effects of buzz is money.

TAPPER: How much money do you think your readers and the Daily Kos community have raised for candidates?

MOULITSAS: You know, probably, you know, a little over a million dollars, which ...

TAPPER: For 17 races.

MOULITSAS: Last year, yes.

TAPPER: What about for Howard Dean?

MOULITSAS: I don't know because actually at the time, we didn't have a way to track that. So who knows? I mean, he raised $20 million online, so who knows how much of that came directly from our efforts. But that's a drop in the bucket. I mean, we're talking about an election in 2004 that cost $2 billion all sides combined to wage, and we were maybe a million dollars. So when people talk about the influence of the blog, really they're giving us way too much credit because we're not raising that much money. Now, one e-mail from MoveOn can raise millions of dollars, you know, one e-mail from MoveOn, when we could spend an entire election cycle working to fundraise and not raise that much money. So we're not a money machine. That's definitely now what we are.

TAPPER: You're a buzz machine?

MOULITSAS: We're a buzz machine.

TAPPER: In June, there was an event, you didn't organize it, but it's under your name. It's called the Yearly Kos. And you have it in Las Vegas, big important people in the Democratic Party -- you have the Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, you have a bunch of presidential possibilities such as Governor Richardson up in New Mexico, you have Wesley Clark, you have ex-Gov. Mark Warner, Gov. Tom Vilsack. How is it that you have all these big guys coming to kiss the ring of you and your fellow bloggers?

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