12 July 2003

Democratic Presidential Hopeful Guest Blogs for Lawrence Lessig

Presidential candidate Howard Dean is going to play guest blogger for Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig. Lessig, author of the classic text The Future of Ideas, has been outspoken about how new and more stringent copyright protections hampers creation and harms the public. In short, Lessig rails against the corporate raiding of the intellectual commons, and the threat to freedom. Applying traditional real life law to cyberspace is lunacy in Lessig's view.

But I wasn't aware that Howard Dean was on the same wavelength as Lessig regarding net policy. Dean is rushing full steam into the internet thing, and he's one of the first presidential candidates to enter the blogosphere. (Dennis Kucinich also has a blog up and running). It's refreshing to witness such candidness by a presidential contender, considering that one of the current executive branch chief's first online policy moves was to refrain from sending any email. And GW Bush's total online dialog is confined to the republishing of carefully crafted remarks, or the sanitized quoting by obedient capitol press scribes.

So it is time for me to take a break from this space too. But Iíve arranged for a much more interesting guest blogger while Iím gone: former governor, and presidential candidate, Howard Dean.

This is, I believe, the first time a presidential candidate has been a guest blogger. But it is an obvious extension of blogs and the process of becoming President. Campaigns are all about meeting different groups and talking about ideas. Where better than a blog?

I have great respect for Governor Dean, and especially the clarity of his voice. I have even greater respect now that I see the doctor makes house calls. So Governor, welcome to this tiny server at Stanford: Youíll find perfect acoustics provided by MovableType, and an interesting mix of views provided by the readers.

Of course, this all could be an orchestrated Dean campaign ruse to solidify his growing base of avid internet patron support. Like antoher previous Democratic candidate, who professed to "feel your pain". Or maybe it's just another step in a pioneering foray deep into an online political campaign, testing the feasiblility of future ventures in a token attempt to capture the Democratic nomination.

I believe I could cast a vote for Dean - I find agreement with him on many issues and he is pro-gun, in alignment with home state of Vermont, the state with the fewest restrictions on gun ownership in the nation. I'll be reading though, and I'll also keep an eye on his campaign blog, even if most of the blog entries there are written by his staffers.

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