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Romney and Bloggers

Am eager to get on with the Super Bowl, but just wanted to quickly weigh in on something. Rob Bluey has a report on Redstate about how a lot of prominent conservative bloggers were excluded from the Romney blogger call held last week. I found it surprising to learn not just that there were only 14 participants, but that given the exclusivity of the invite list, that I was on it. As any regular reader knows, I have been quite critical of Romney over the course of the campaign, perhaps as critical as any conservative blogger. In the crucial divide among conservatives over whether we should accept Romney’s conversions as genuine or view them as a matter of political convenience, I have been firmly in the skeptic camp. When Stephen Smith, Romney’s director of online communications, invited me to the call, he acknowledged that I haven’t always been the biggest Romney fan. In inviting me, Smith knew it was likely that I wouldn’t ask a softball question, and I didn’t–I confronted Romney on a report that his campaign had launched robo-calls against John McCain in Florida hammering McCain for voting against the Medicare prescription drug plan.

The point of all of this is not to engage in the sort of navel gazing I generally abhor, but to note that the Romney campaign was willing to include a critical voice such as myself on the call. While McCain has no doubt been the league leader in terms of accessibility to bloggers, I wouldn’t want a false perception to spread that the Romney campaign somehow cherry-picked sympathetic bloggers who they knew would fawn all over the candidate.

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