As first reported by the New York Times, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas has mooted the idea of running for Congress in his home district in the East Bay of California if the current incumbent, Democrat Barbara Lee, decides to step down.
In an email to The Daily Beast, the prominent blogger wrote “if it’s up to me, Lee stays where she is for a long time and I stay where I am for a long time.”
However, Moultisas did say if the opportunity presented itself, he would seriously consider running for Congress.
“Being a back-bencher representative from the minority party from one of the most liberal districts in the country isn’t a particularly high-profile perch from which to effect change,” he explained. “But if I were to marry that with my existing platform? That might work, it might not. That’s what I’d have to figure out, and I’d certainly give it some thought.”
Earlier this month, it seemed like Lee had her sights set on becoming the first Ambassador to Cuba since the embargo if the United States fully restores diplomatic relations with the island country.
Lee has since backed away from those reports.
“I will not seek the nomination to be Ambassador to Cuba,” she said in a statement. “I plan to continue the efforts to normalize relations with Cuba and the fight for our shared progressive values in Congress.”
But even though Moultisas’ ambitions are on hold for now, his flirtation with running for Congress marks one of the first times a significant blogger has considered running for federal office (although Elizabeth Warren did once have her own section on Talking Points Memo when she was a Harvard Law professor in 2005).
The United States has long been unfriendly territory for pundits who mull campaigns for elective office but the rise of popular bloggers with vast networks could signal a change. But, with Internet journalism still in its infancy, this has never been put to the test. And, unless Lee changes her mind, it will remain a mystery for the foreseeable future.