Mark Warner’s Party

There’s an underlying tension here at YearlyKos, as 2008 presidential candidates try to figure out how to engage with the blogosphere. The two biggest blogosphere darlings, Gore and Feingold, probably figured they were better off marketing a movie than preaching to the choir. But many of the other potential candidates did show up: Governors Richardson,Vilsack, Warner, and General Clark. (Senator Boxer is not a candidate, but if she were, her stock would be falling, because she endorsed Lieberman yesterday.) Those with real affinities have joined a panel. Richardson endorsed Jerome a Paris’ (and Meteor Blades’) energy plan. General Clark wowed a lot of people with his scientific knowledge (apparently he goofed on some scientific formula, though I didn’t see it), and Vilsack will join Teacherken to talk about education this morning.

Mark Warner, though, chose a different approach. Millionaires, you see, can throw a mean party.

Warner rented out the entire top of the Stratosphere, with a great spread and bars at every corner. I’ve worked in and out of corporate America for 25 years (and personally witnessed Howard Dean’s phenomenal $40 million burn). And I’ve never been to this kind of truly excessive party.
I don’t know whether all the free food and liquor bought our loyalty. I actually never saw the candidate … I was much more interested in meeting the folks from DKos. But who knows whether that was the point? One person suggested the real audience was Hillary, a giant pissing contest over who could blow money with the greatest abandon. “Hillary, money is no object.”

Apparently, the blogosphere is the new Iowa. There are worse ways to travel.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

  1. Anonymous says:

    >Apparently, the blogosphere is the new Iowa.

    Yes, apparently it is–the Times had pieces from both MoDo and AdNags in today’s paper. Heck, you may even be the New New Hampshire. What worries MoDo, though, is that you just might be the New New York Times.

    Enjoy the free booze. You’ve more than earned it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Russ Feingold is not in Vegas because he is in Rochester Minnesota making the Keynote Address at the DFL State Convention. Since actual delegates to the 08 National Convention are selected through Precinct Caucuses — by party activists who attend — he is spending quality time with precisely the right people who might help his cause. He is also doing some campaigning with our newly endorsed US Senate Candidate, Amy Klobucher, and did a radio interview with several congressional candidates. Anyhow, he is not being lazy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    ew

    â€I don’t know whether all the free food and liquor bought our loyalty.â€

    Never see that happening with you. You exposed your heart and soul yesterday.

  4. Anonymous says:

    watch out emptywheel

    cocktail weenies corupt

    free booze corrupts absolutly

    and if you eat before going to sleep, you’ll feel a lot better in the morning

    and to everybody else, shall we try to guess who forgot the sunscreen ???

    the pictures should start to tell soon

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was led to believe Harry Reid was to appear. If he does could someone have him explain his part along with Schumer, in â€swiftboatingâ€
    Paul Hackett in Ohio?

  6. Anonymous says:

    â€Apparently, the blogosphere is the new Iowaâ€.

    EW, I think you’re onto something big. Why NOT have a Primary of the Blogosphere? Something that stands alone, takes place during a specific period in primary season ’08, is governed so that there is just one vote per computer? Candidates could nominate themselves and explain themselves on the site in advance — maybe even engage in dialog with us.

    Just knowing that we can have a primary, unsoiled by the establishment dems, that would truly reflect the liberal/progressive base would give hope and encouragement to a lot of us who are ready to give up. WE are the BASE of the democratic party. It’s about time we are heard!

  7. Anonymous says:

    What I want to know is, how did you get a gig in corporate America when you were part of the under-ten set?

    Given that, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you were engaged in trying to explain Iran-contra to America by the time you were, like, sixteen.

  8. Anonymous says:

    That is one king heckfire last line.

    But is being the new Iowa better than being the old New Hampshire (especially if you are stuck with cold-cuts, velveeta and warm Budweiser at the Wayfarer in Manchester)?

    .

  9. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy the splash Warner needs to make to energize the centrists in the Democratic Party: getting the progressives to know him and discuss him. A fast internet survey makes it look like someone who attends one of his events needs to enjoy bluegrass music a lot. It is great VA got a Democrat governor, and that he compelled the Republican legislature to raise the taxes so the state could balance its books and introduce a forward looking policy rather than preserving the standoff between stereotypes in the two parties. Just as the US Supreme Court is populated by mostly Harvard law grads, so, too, Warner’s policies are all over the map on many issues, even splitting issues. He deserves consideration; and what better way to evaluate than at a Las Vegas reception.

  10. Anonymous says:

    OfT: emptywheel, I commented this a thread late at FDL
    OfT: mommybrain,
    God bless you.
    I am just mortified that I missed your wonderful comment about emptywheel and football.
    Please when you see her again, please give her a big hug from a Packer fan.
    First rule about betting football,
    Don’t bet.
    Second rule about betting football,
    When in doubt, refer to Rule 1.
    Frank â€Lefty†Rosenthal, aka â€Ace,†in Scorsese’s CASINO, was one of the best at â€picking the number,†the point spread. All Vegas wants is â€the vig,†the price bookies charge for making the bet. As I am sure you already know, the point spread is the â€fulcrum†of Vegas’ perception of the statistical probabilities that one team will win. You’re always betting against Vegas’ number. As I am sure you already know, it’s dependent on an unbelieveable array of factors, weather, previous history, (how does this team/coach historically do against the spread), injury information, scheme, and of course individual matchups. The NFL is so serious about their â€injury†policy, â€out†vs. â€probable,†prescisely because that information is so valuable to gamblers. The NFL forces coaches to make it public, to decrease the pressure to bribe trainers, players, and others who might have access to it. To set a number on any given game, you have to evaluate more than 22 match-ups every week, because teams substitute so freely for situations. You also have to know scheme, because it effects match-up evaluations. The Denver Bronco’s run a zone-blocking scheme, that is still pretty unusual in the NFL. BTW, the Packers will try to run Denver’s scheme next year, in part I assume to negate the power of Detroit’s defensive tackles. How a defense does against one scheme is not a good predictor of how they will do against another.
    If you can make money betting football, you are a genius. Since you are a genius, you might be able to do it, but you would have to give up your day job. In addition it might cut into the number of posts we get to read from you, so I am not particularly objective when it comes to that. Hope you had a good time camping, I didn’t hear of anyone going through delerium tremors too badly for an emptywheel post.
    BTW, you don’t look like someone who has spent a lot of time playing rugby.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I had never been to this kind of big-time party, either. I sat in front of the Starbuck’s stand and enjoyed feeling like I’d died and gone to free-coffee heaven. I saw Mark Warner working the crowd and he seemed to impress the people who got some face time with him. I didn’t get to meet him but I did want to thank him for the lavish spread. (Thank you doesn’t mean I’ll vote for you.)

    You’ve been terrific, emptywheel. Your panel and participation has been inspiring and quite wonderful.

  12. Anonymous says:

    emptywheel, I didn’t get to Warner’s party last night deciding to beg it off. However, your description of it reminded me of the early days of George W Bush’s campaign in 1999 when he flew into Iowa:

    Kasich offered reporters a hamburger lunch if they travel with him Sunday, knowing few would accept. It was a lighthearted jab at Bush, who was holding a lobster bake for the more than 100 journalists flying to Maine and New Hampshire to witness his coming out.

    We know lots of journalists were pretty seduced by the lavish attention they got from Bush. Hope the blogosphere is a bit smarter about this all and keeps focused on what’s best for America.

    And it sure sounds like you and natasha had some pretty interesting questions for the wooing candidate. (hurummp – first date indeed)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ugh. Maybe its my Puritan background (I was raised Congregationalist), but holy crap, that just makes me feel gross. I mean, I know that parties are How Things Get Done (I’m in the academy, after all), but really…. I’ll never send Warner a cent after reading this post, and the whole thing sort of makes me want to go brush my teeth.

    Blech.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well, I must say I have mixed feelings about this.

    On one hand, no one is going to win my vote or support with a party, or free T-shirt, or any other goodie. Issues and character are what matter to me, and I was -more- impressed (on that note) with Wes Clarke’s party because he was there talking to us, rather than wooing us with chocolate fountains, Vegas entertainment, and thrill rides. (Disclosure – I was a big fan of Clarke’s before the party, too, and would have remained one even if he had had no party at all.)

    On the other hand …. I don’t want to discourage these guys too much, because I enjoy being sucked up to and thrown a good party, just as much as anyone else. It won’t automatically buy my support, but it will buy my presence. And due to the lack of laundry facilities and my determination that, no, I really couldn’t wear any of my shirts another day without grossing everyone out, his free T-shirt also got me as a walking billboard on the flight home. (It was either that one, or the Tshirt from the set-top box company whose party I went to at GlobalCOMM in Chicago before flying on to Las Vegas, and at least Warner’s was an airport conversation-starter.)

    I think part of the bleecchhh we’re feeling was that Warner opened the Big Blade in a Las Vegas style, because that’s where we were. That’s just a sleazy place in general … I attend about 3 conventions there a year, and I can’t fathom that normal people actually go there for fun — yuck! The party reminded me of the ones the dot-coms would throw to celebrate raising a round of VC (spending 20% of the round on the party), but that’s the kind of events you do in LV. By the way, the quoted figure of $50K is ’way low — my understanding is that it’s about 50% more than that JUST to rent the Stratosphere as a private venue, before you get into the cost of the food & drink, entertainment, etc. I’d guess maybe closer to $200K, and possibly more.

    So, if the next YearlyKos is in Iowa or Ohio or Virginia, for that matter, and Mark Warner or any other candidate would like to suck up to us with a big barbeque and The Dixie Chicks as the entertainment, I don’t want to discourage them!!