"In contrast to the vitriolic rants you'll find on some political blogging sites, Palmer gives in-depth analysis and commentary." --Dan Cook, The Free Times

9/01/2008

The 7-10: Frequently Asked Questions

(Note: Due to several e-mails I have received over the past few weeks, I have decided to create a 7-10 FAQ to answer several common questions regarding this blog, guest-posting, and my own political preferences. This post will become a permanent fixture on my "recommended entries" list and will be updated as it warrants.)

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Who are you?

My name is Anthony Palmer, a PhD student at the University of South Carolina studying political communication. I received my master's degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina in 2003 and my bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Duke University in 1999.

What is The 7-10?

The 7-10 is an independent (though not necessarily nonpartisan) personal blog that offers my personal analysis of current political news. I generally focus on national politics, especially the 2008 presidential race, but also talk about state issues, general news, media behavior, and even cultural trends every once in a while. I am not affiliated with any political campaign, media organization, or interest group. The 7-10 is strictly a labor of love by an independent political observer.

Who is this blog designed for?

The 7-10's target audience is 1) casual political observers, 2) people who are interested in politics, but have a limited understanding of how it works and what it means, 3) politicos who are interested in how regular people outside Washington see things, and 4) people who seek a more intelligent discussion of politics than what is usually found on the cable news stations and elsewhere in the blogosphere. While I try to be careful, please understand that I am not a professional pundit! (Cancel your subscription to National Journal at your own risk.)

I would like to write a blog entry here. May I?

Guest submissions are not currently accepted. However, if you have an idea for something you'd like me to write about, send me an e-mail and I may honor your request. I make no guarantees though.

How often do you update this blog?

I am a very, very busy person. I am a husband, a teacher, a PhD student, a bowler, a dog owner, and a research assistant. The 7-10 is solely maintained by me. I do all the research and I write all the posts. I cannot update The 7-10 every day, nor can I scour the internet for interesting tidbits to comment on multiple times a day. This blog is generally updated about two or three times a week. Sometimes I have a bit of free time and can write a little more often than that. Other times I'm very busy and write a little less. I'd like to write more in this blog, but not at the expense of letting another one of my responsibilities or interests fall by the wayside.

How much traffic does this blog receive?

The 7-10 was created in February 2007, so it is still growing. These days, The 7-10 typically receives between 75 and 200 hits a day, not including hits from my own computer. A slow day usually yields about 50 hits. The most hits I've ever received is 600. There are also people who subscribe to this blog using an RSS feed, so their hits may not be recorded in my site stats. Currently, the number of subscribers to The 7-10 fluctuates between 50 and 80 readers. Take this into consideration if you're thinking about sponsoring content on this site.

What is your policy regarding comments?

Everyone is welcome to leave comments here. Comments are not moderated so as to encourage and facilitate discussion among readers. I try to respond to every comment I receive, but unfortunately, there are times when I simply can't get around to doing so because there are too many comments or not enough time. But I do sincerely appreciate every comment a reader leaves here.

I welcome all comments from people of all political persuasions, but will readily delete spam, blatantly offensive posts (e.g., excessive profanity), and posts that get too far off topic. It's disrespectful to the readers of this blog for them to have to wade through mudslinging, childishness, and noise as they scroll through the discussions.

If you do leave a comment, I ask the following things:

1. Please use a name, even if it's only a pseudonym. It's not easy referring to people as Anonymous1 and Anonymous2 when I respond to your comments.

2. Please keep the discussions here civil. One thing I really like about The 7-10 is the quality of the comments this blog receives. There's not a lot of name-calling, trolling, and cheerleading here. Be prepared to back up your assertions with facts in the event that someone disagrees with you.

I have a blog. Will you give me a link on your page?

I will be happy to link to your blog under the following conditions:

1. You maintain an intelligently written blog related to politics, polling, or journalism. Partisan blogs are fine, but I am not particularly interested in blogs that simply say "Bush sucks" or "Obama sucks" every day. There are enough of those kinds of blogs out there.

2. You maintain the blog regularly. If you haven't updated your blog in over a month, I will remove the link to your page. Nobody likes to spend time clicking links to sites that are out of date.

3. You return the favor by giving The 7-10 a link on your page. That's common courtesy.

If you find any dead links or abandoned blogs on my blogroll, please let me know and I'll fix it. Thanks in advance.

I work for a newspaper, radio station, television station, magazine, political campaign, or bigtime blog and would like to contact you regarding an interview, a special project, a press release, or a blog widget. May I contact you?

Certainly! Just let me know what you'd like me to participate in and I'll usually say yes unless I'm out of town for the day or something. You can reach me by sending an e-mail here.

Do you have any other blogs?

Yes, I have a second political blog known as The 9th Frame. This blog is not as serious as The 7-10 and has a bit more personality and edginess to it. It also has more multimedia elements and shorter posts. Because the posts are typically shorter, it's updated more frequently. If The 7-10 is about extended political analysis, The 9th Frame is about brief political commentary. I understand that some people might not like The 9th Frame, while others may like that blog more than The 7-10. Both blogs cater to different audiences and are written in different styles. I encourage you to check out both.

Why did you name this blog "The 7-10?"

Well, first you must understand that I am a bowler. I've found that there are many parallels between bowling and politics. The 7-10 split in which two pins are on opposite sides of the lane is a perfect example of the nature of politics. It is very difficult to hit both pins at the same time, just as it is difficult to satisfy two different constituency groups. If you aim too hard at the 7-pin, you might miss the 10, and vice versa. The bowling ball is a politician's actual message.

A perfect example of this would be Barack Obama's presidential campaign as he tries to satisfy White and Black voters. Cozying up too much with one group of voters might alienate him from the other. Thus far, he has been effective in earning votes from both constituencies. But it's a delicate dance for sure. John McCain has his own 7-10 split to deal with as he tries to reassure pro-life voters without putting off pro-choice voters.

Bowling also has many frames. So if you fail to convert the spare after a 7-10 split, you just have to deal with it and move on. Campaigns take a long time and anything can happen. So while you may bomb on the 7-10 split in one frame, you may get a strike in the next one. That's how the campaign trail goes too.

Thus, The 7-10.

What are your personal political leanings?

I'm not sure how to classify myself other than independent, but I will say this:

I'm a conservative on illegal immigration and tort reform.

I'm a moderate on affirmative action, guns, and abortion.

I'm a liberal in that I don't view government as the enemy, so long as it is competent and efficient.

I'm a populist on economics and consumer protections.

I'm a libertarian on social freedoms and foreign policy.

As you can see, I'm all over the map. My ideal politician would be someone like former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee. However, because these Republicans are such an endangered species, I tepidly align myself with the Democrats. (Emphasis on tepidly.) My libertarian social leanings stand in direct contrast to the religious right, so that makes the Democratic Party a more hospitable (though not ideal) place to hang my political hat.

I'm not particularly partisan, but I absolutely loathe incompetence, hypocrisy, red herrings, flawed logic, and intellectual dishonesty on behalf of our elected officials and am not afraid to call them out on it. Over the past few years, I've found Republicans to be more egregious in this regard, although the Democrats do their best to remind me that no political party has a monopoly on spouting nonsense.

I don't get excited about generic statements like "I will cut your taxes" or "I will change Washington." And I can't stand politicians who appeal to the lowest common denominator by advocating inane things like "freedom fries." If a politician can speak with sophistication and specificity in regards to his policy, he will have my vote.

Thank you for reading.

Last updated on September 1, 2008.

1 comment(s):

Thomas said...

good luck with the independent stance on politics. my views are very similar to yours, but i'm afraid we are in the minority on the blogosphere: most people are far right or far left. the battle lines have been drawn since 2000. my prediction for 2008: 273 to 265 in favor of obama (but he dominates the popular vote).

Copyright 2007-2010 by Anthony Palmer. This material may not be republished or redistributed in any manner without the expressed written permission of the author, nor may this material be cited elsewhere without proper attribution. All rights reserved. The 7-10 is syndicated by Newstex.