Arianna gets more money for HuffPo


Huffington Post, the political blog founded by Arianna Huffington that features contributions and individual columns from a wide range of liberals (including Hollywood celebrities), is on the verge of announcing a $5 million investment from Japanese venture capital firm Softbank and venture capitalist Alan Patricof. Apart from the financial aspects behind this investment, one must look to the political ramifications as we enter the mid—term elections and begin the process of finding Presidential candidates for the 2008 race.

In light of potential Democratic Presidential candidate Mark Warner's courting of bloggers at the Kos—fest a few weeks ago and his hiring of Kos co—founder Jerome Armstrong to be his internet strategist, we might wonder how this investment might play out as we approach 2008. The reason? Well, apart from Huffington Post having a wide viewership among Democratic partisans, Alan Patricof, one of the new investors, happens to be a close friend and supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Patricof is actually the Finance Chairman of Hillary's Senate campaign, which presumably (especially given the vast funds she has collected) will be transformed into her Presidential campaign war chest. As a major investor in Huffington, Patricof may be in  a position to use the blog to advance Hillary's prospects going into 2008. This could be particularly important because Hillary has only lukewarm support among partisans on the left, who find fault regarding her too equivocal (for their taste) position on the Iraq War.

Of course, by using a stand in, as opposed to Warner's more direct  and obvious approach to the bloggers, Hillary can benefit from favorable "coverage" from the bloggers on the Huffington Post while at the same time not be seen as buying or coercing that support herself. Clever.

The National Journal blogs on this invetsment here

Ed Lasky  8 08 06

Thomas Lifson adds:

Masayoshi Son, the founder of Softbank, is a Japanese hi tech entrepreneur, who happens to be ethnically Korean and a graduate of UC Berkeley. He is a multi—billionaire who has had his ups and downs, but who delights in his status as a maverick. I wonder how big his share of the investment is, how much of the HuffPo one gets for 5 mill, and what his motives are?

If you experience technical problems, please write to