[T]he influence of the liberal blogs on the Democratic presidential primary is a shadow of what it was in 2004.

Then, a united blogosphere propelled Vermont Gov. Howard Dean to prominence and struck fear into the hearts of cautious, establishment Democrats. Now, the blogosphere is divided on which candidate to support, and the two leaders -- Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) -- have ignored pressure from online activists to move left on important issues, including the speed of withdrawal from Iraq.

The change: Democratic presidential candidates have started treating the blogosphere like any other special interest. They've reached the conclusion that the liberal bloggers are more a community than an ideological movement, more like, say, the Armenian-American community than NARAL....

"They're so painfully craving any type of mainstream acceptance that they're prone to the crassest kind of flattery and pandering, which weakens them," said a senior aide to a Democratic campaign of the bloggers. Recalling a lavish party then-candidate Mark Warner threw at the 2006 YearlyKos convention in Last Vegas, the aide noted: "Mark Warner bought them off with a fountain and some chocolate strawberries." [emphasis added]
Scary thoughtMichael Crowley