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Blogs United Wrap-Up

Last weekend’s Blogs United conference in Hampton Roads offerred an intriguing glimpse into the political clout of the Virginia blogosphere, and it was a whole lot of fun as well.

Four likely gubernatorial candidates spent part of last Saturday wooing dozens of bloggers at Christopher Newport University. Why’s that? “The people who read these blogs are the ones who are going to vote,” conference organizer Jim Hoeft pointed out.

Virginia’s ever-gracious Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling reminded bloggers of the importance of civility.

Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell paid tribute to free enterprise and called for rolling back the prosperity-busting hobgoblins of excessive taxation, over-regulation, and frivilous litigation.

Democratic Senator Creigh Deeds was more partisan, predicting that his party would pick up four seats and take control of the Virginia Senate.

Democratic Delegate Brian Moran was equally optimistic, touting the party’s strategy of running against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney as the key to turning Virginia blue.

Surprise speakers included two of the three candidates for chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Former Lt. Governor John Hager praised blogging as a form of free enterprise. And Chairman of the Virginia Beach GOP Chuck Smith advocated returning to what has consistently won elections for Republicans: core values.

One of the best speakers was Jack Holt from the Department of Defense. Mr. Holt criticized the MSM for blasting the troop surge as a failure while ignoring the fact that surge operations began only three weeks ago.

Of course, it was also a great pleasure to meet face-to-face so many bloggers I admire, especially James Atticus Bowden, Alton Foley, Jay Hughes, Carl Kilo, and Phil Lynch.

And it’s always a joy to spend time with old friends and aquaintances, especially Kat, Bryan Atchison, Chris Green, and Shaun Kenney.

Special thanks are due the taxpayers of Virginia for the magnificent facilities at Christopher Newport University. My college student center looked nothing like this one!

BlogNetNews generously provided souvenir mugs, and the Virginian-Pilot showered bloggers with gifts from tee-shirts to post-its.

Most of all, sincere thanks are due Jim Hoeft for all the hard work in putting together such a successful conference.

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