Hi, I'm Oliver Thayer, Web and Politics Editor for the Onion!

During the political conventions, we dispatched our editorial cartoonist with nothing but a digital camera, outdated laptop and limited oversight. He sent back short observations throughout the day, and with little to no editing, we published these pieces on our website. This timely, unedited, and completely off-the-cuff format is known as a blog.

Until very recently, it wasn't certain that blogging would catch on. But after carefully observing the Internet over the past several weeks, we've determined that they are here to stay, and could potentially influence the mainstream media. Some day, blogs might even be opened up to readers to post their own reactions and thoughts, creating a free-flowing marketplace of ideas in cyberspace! But until then, we have decided to harness the potential of the blog medium to provide insight and analysis during this election season, and we've assembled a top-notch group of bloggers to do it. They are:

Kendra Davidson, Owner of The Davidson Family Restaurant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Kendra has poured coffee for every major presidential candidate of the last 16 years, except Barack Obama and John McCain, who apparently couldn't be bothered.

Carla Freeman, Junior Class President

Carla Freeman was recently elected president of the North Forke High School Class of 2010 in Pleasant Valley, Missouri. She providers an insider's perspective on what it takes to run a campaign.

Kelly, Onion Editorial Cartoonist

The Onion's editorial cartoonist, Kelly, used his 35 years of experience to offer an inside look at the most important events of the political party conventions.

Dac Kien, Retired Vietcong Torturer

Dac spent 12 years fighting for the Vietcong to unify his country. For five of those years, he tortured John McCain and developed a deep and intimate view of the Republican nominee in the process.

Don DeLillo, Master of Postmodern Literature

Don DeLillo is considered one of America's greatest living novelists. His works explore themes of consumerism, alienation, and decontextualization, and include such towering postmodernist classics as White Noise, Mao II, and Underworld.

Gary Brunson, 4-Week-Old Fetus

Gary is a member of the Young America's Foundation and an outspoken critic of liberal politics.

Peter Martling, Hungover Blogger

Peter has covered politics from Washington, D.C. for 15 years. He keeps three items in his desk drawer: a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution, his first reporter's notebook and a bottle of Maker's Mark.

Sam Holtzman, Single Issue Voter

Sam works for the Davis, California Department of Transportation. He lives with his dog, Hunter.

Pip Dawkins, 19th Century Street Urchin

Pip was orphaned at age three when his parents died of cholera. He resides at the Bethnal Green Workhouse in London, and is ever so excited for this year's election in America.

T. Herman Zweibel, Onion Publisher Emeritus

Zweibel penned his first Onion editorial in 1880 and is considered "The Father of American Journalism." He spends his time financing the latest military conflicts and manipulating information for the purpose of profit-making.

Oliver Thayer, Web & Politics Editor

A recent graduate of Yale University, Oliver Thayer is the Onion's Web & Politics editor. He has more than four and a half months of experience, and is thrilled to be spearheading the Onion's election coverage.

I'll chime in regularly with reflections on the news industry, our own blogging efforts, and the election. Political blogging is the future of political reporting, and I'm proud to lead this time traveling expedition.

I honestly believe there's never been a better time to work for a newspaper.

Blogoriphically Yours,

Oliver Thayer

Web & Politics Editor, The Onion

- sent from my iPhone 3G