COURTING THE BLOGS...

COURTING THE BLOGS -- PARTY AT THE STRATOSPHERE. Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner will be the main attraction at the first ever Daily Kos convention, Yearly Kos, that will be held in Las Vegas this weekend, and he's got plans to welcome the bloggers with open arms. Warner is one of several possible '08 presidential candidates speaking at the convention; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack will also make appearances. So will some Democratic leaders: Former '04 presidential contender Gen. Wesley Clark, DNC chairman Howard Dean, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Barbara Boxer, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. This line-up reflects the connections of the Kos community, more than any preferences they may currently have for '08 -- Kossaks routinely favor Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin in straw polls, rather than the governors who will be attending the conference. Still, with Warner's PAC having hired MyDD.com founder Jerome Armstrong, a former business partner of Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, and Moulitsas having backed Clark to run in '03 before switching to Dean, some of the marquee-name attendees can't help but be seen as friends of the family.

In particular, the conference represents a tremendous opportunity for Warner to introduce himself to the blogs -- most of the top political activist bloggers on the left plan to attend -- through his key-note luncheon speech on Saturday, and also through a little old-fashioned glad-handing. Warner will court the bloggers as though they were primary voters, with a free food and booze fest, billed as Blogosphere at Stratosphere, on Friday night. It promises to be quite a scene, according to the invite:

make sure you don't miss the open bar, the free food, and the free rides (they have crazy rollercoaster rides atop the 100+ floor Stratosphere)

Retail politics at its finest.

--Garance Franke-Ruta

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