Jerome Armstrong

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Jerome Armstrong (born February 26, 1964) is an American political strategist. In 2001, he founded MyDD, a blog which covered politics, making him one of the first political bloggers. Armstrong coined the term netroots,[1] and was referred to as The Blogfather[2] for having mentored many other famous bloggers such as Markos Moulitsas in their early years.[3] He is credited as one of the architects of Howard Dean's '04 grassroots presidential campaign, and bringing those tactics to campaigns globally.[4][5] He is one of the co-founders of Vox Media.


Armstrong was an environmental activist in the late 1980s, working with Greenpeace and Earth First!. He later served with the Peace Corps, spent a year and a half at a Buddhist monastery, served in Americorps, with the I Have A Dream program, and did field organizing in Portland, OR in the early 1990s.[2][6] Armstrong has graduate degrees in Conflict Resolution and Applied Linguistics.[7]

Online advocacy[edit]

In 2001, he founded MyDD,[8] a blog which covered politics with an openly Democratic partisan perspective. In 2004 Jerome and Markos Moulitsas founded BlogPAC, a political action committee focused on progressive bloggers and politics online.[9]

Campaigns and Elections, in an early netroots profile in Oct-Nov 2005, as part of the article "Blogging Down the Money Trail", credited MyDD with being "the first major liberal blog." [10] In January 2006, the name was changed to "My Direct Democracy" as part of a site redesign, with a new tagline, "Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics."

MyDD has been largely dormant since 2010. Its founder, Jerome Armstrong explained that he “had to get out to save from becoming hardened, cynical, and without peace,” citing the negativity in American politics.[11]

Political consultancy[edit]

In January 2003, Markos Moulitsas joined Armstrong in a political consulting partnership called Armstrong Zuniga, before being formally dissolved in December 2004. Howard Dean hired them for a time as technical consultants in 2003. Armstrong introduced the campaign to and directing on online advertising and blogger outreach.[12] He worked with U.S. Senate candidate Sherrod Brown's 2006 Senate campaign in Ohio.[13] He also signed on with Mark Warner's Forward Together PAC to develop their internet strategy, before Warner decided to not run for president in 2008.[14]

In 2007, Armstrong was awarded the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award for Political Organizing by 21st Century Democrats,[15] "for his visionary leadership in working to create the online netroots community". In 2008, London Mayoral Candidate Brian Paddick, a UK Liberal Democrat, brought aboard Armstrong [5] "to help boost his campaign's online presence". Armstrong has worked with over 40 campaigns through the political consultancy group Webstrong within the Democratic party and abroad.[16]

For the 2012 cycle, Armstrong went to work with Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, and as a senior advisor with the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a Super PAC which supports challengers against Congressional incumbents in both parties.[17][18]


Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos co-authored the book Crashing the Gate: Grassroots, Netroots, and the Rise of People Powered Politics (March 2006). The book takes a critical look at the state of the Democratic Party, detailing the rise of a new movement that is reforming and taking over the Democratic Party. An Australian edition was released in July 2006.[19]


Armstrong, along with Markos Moulitsas and Tyler Bleszinski, founded the Washington, D.C.-based Vox Media, a network of blogs and online verticals,[20] with funding led by Accel Partners.[21]


  1. ^ Tom Curry (2006-03-02). "Blog pioneer maps political strategy for 2008". MSNBC.
  2. ^ a b "The Blogfather". 31 May 2006. Archived from the original on 2 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-03.
  3. ^ "The Blogfather". AlterNet. 15 June 2005. Retrieved 2006-07-03.
  4. ^ Andrew Orlowski (2004-01-30). "Howard Dean's Net architect blasts 'emergent' punditocracy". The Register.
  5. ^ a b "Paddick Signs Up Top US 'Blogfather'". Mayor Watch. 2008-03-28.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Key People-Former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA)". George Washington University. 14 October 2006.
  7. ^ William Safire (19 November 2006). "Netroots". New York Times.
  8. ^ "Web Archive of MyDD from May 2001". Archived from the original on 2002-06-19. Retrieved 2006-07-03.
  9. ^ "The Blogfather", Alternet, June 15, 2005
  10. ^ David Weigel (November 2005). "Blogging down the money trail". Campaigns and Elections. Archived from the original on 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2008-03-30.
  11. ^ Israel, Josh (July 2015). "What Happened to the Progressive Netroots?". Think Progress. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  12. ^ "Key People-Former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA)". George Washington University. 14 October 2006.
  13. ^ Glover, K. Daniel; Essl, Mike (3 December 2006). "New on the Web: Politics as Usual". New York Times.
  14. ^ Shear, Michael D. (29 August 2005). "Warner Won't Seek Allen's Senate Seat". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  15. ^ "Honoring our Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award for Political Organizing Recipient: Jerome Armstrong". 21st Century Democrats. 1 May 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
  16. ^ "The Arena". Politico. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
  17. ^ Freelander, David (24 October 2012). "Netroots Bloggers Mark 10th Birthday in Decline and Struggling for Survival". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  18. ^ Kane, Paul (18 June 2012). "Super PAC targets incumbents of any stripe". Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  19. ^ "Crashing the Gate going to Australia". 1 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-11.
  20. ^ "SB Nation: Startup Sports Blog Network Backed By Tech, Media Luminaries". 28 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  21. ^ "Blog network SportsBlog Nation scores funding". 29 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-07.

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