The Massachusetts special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat continues to reverberate (or is that ricochet?) in the media [for a quick round-up of latest Charlie Cook in National Journal, Robert Reich on Huffington Post, Dan Balz in Washington Post and Kristi Keck on CNN, see today’s Hankster] and independent voters remain center stage (the newly elected Senator is that guy who posed nude for Cosmo, right?…) To wit:

  • Howard Fineman gets it right with one of the most grounded descriptions of independents in print in Independent Minded (Newsweek).

  • Also of note, Elizabeth Benjamin, who took Ben’s place at the Daily News when Mr. Smith went to Washington with Politico, gets it right in Bloomberg’s Independence (Pay)Day by making the first ever in print distinction between the grassroots NYC Independence Party Organizations and the Upstate-Anything-But-Independent-“We’re proud to be the party of business”-MacKay crowd.

  • And then there’s Thomas Friedman’s critique of Obama’s first year where Friedman laments the disappearance of the President’s “amazing, young, Internet-enabled, grass-roots movement he mobilized to get elected”. Mr. Friedman apparently misses the distinction between running for office and governing the country, but hey, 2 outa 3 ain’t bad!

  • Oh, and be sure to follow the dialog about what exactly the Tea Party movement is and where it came from, latest by Ben McGrath in The New Yorker.

  • Much (much) more over at The Hankster… Oh, an by the way, The Hankster is also blogging at the new Third Party and Independent Daily edited by Damon Eris. Check it out!

    • I’ve got a similar editorial criticism of this post to the one I voiced on Frank’s. Too round-up-ey to really make me interested enough to click through.

      I appreciate why you’re doing this, since this isn’t your main effort and all. But how about for your next few round-up posts you try this:

      1. Write them in the same style as you have been doing.
      2. Then when you re-read the post for sense, pick the one that you think is the strongest and most interesting, and break that out into a separate post.

      Basically, the more you build your reputation (or brand) with regulars, the more click-throughs you’ll get. Interesting posts that lead to a conversation are a good way to build your brand, if radical democrats can stomach evil marketing jargon. LOL.

      My $.02 is that the bit above about the 2 warring independent NY groups sounds most intriguing.

    • I clicked through on one of your links, and found the following salient point by Ben Smithas possibly the biggest takeaway from the Brown election:

      While the campaign of Attorney General Martha Coakley used Twitter (and actually posted more Tweets), they were far less likely to be interactive. Instead, Twitter was used to promote press releases and media hits. Brown, on the other hand, used replies and other tools to actually engage voters online. It led to far more Twitter followers and far more voters who felt they were being engaged in conversation vs. being talked at. The campaign’s Twitter following was also key to spreading the buzz of the campaign nationally.

      Notice that the losing campaign relied on canned non-interactive partisan content. In this old-fashioned approach, voters are folks to be talked AT, not conversed with. Maybe Scott Brown was far enough behind and running a small enough operation that they were willing to undertake an approach that would sound risky to a frontrunner.

      The lesson to me is that the internet offers politicians the kind of real-time feedback loop that delivering speeches doesn’t. Coakley never honed a solid simple core message because she stayed inside the echo chamber.

      Brown did hone a simple effective message. How? Real-time feedback. Smart politicians should take heed from this bit.

      And the revelatory captcha? “the chicest”