Gary Hart has started a blog. Hart, who is considering running for president in 2004, recently completed a doctorate in political theory at Oxford. His dissertation was published last year by Oxford Press. The book is called Restoration of the Republic: The Jeffersonian Ideal in 21st-Century America. Hart could be the first presidential candidate-blogger. Here's what he says about it:

The Internet is clearly the most important new medium to help increase people's involvement in a "primary of ideas." It's an amazing tool for people to share ideas, talk about their concerns and their dreams, and debate the many important policy ideas that will affect our country's future . . . I cannot promise to be as skillful at this as many of those who have made the blogger universe such an important part of the internet. However, I'm committed to using the Internet as a vital tool to engage people on critical policy matters and the future of our country.

Hart recently spoke at the University of Virginia. His speech, which was delivered as part of his on-going series of major policy addresses, is available here

Update: Apparently Howard Dean also has blog, although it seems much less personal. The comments on Hart's blog raise all kinds of interesting questions. Can a major public figure survive in blogosphere? Can interaction on a blog of this kind be meaningful, or will the comments degenerate into a mixture of chat-room nonsense and vicious personal attacks? Note that Dean's blog doesn't allow for comments, and that Hart's comments are moderated--which I think is a smart move. As far as I'm concerned, though, the ability to comment--to interact with the blogger and other readers--makes all the difference in the world.

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