Google launches another content play: political news aggregator

Google has announced the launch of Power Readers in Politics, a political news aggregation site where journalists and political campaigns share stores via Google Reader.

Included in the aggregation mix along with both the McCain and Obama campaigns are leading political journalists including Mark Halperin and Adrianna Huffington.

Google is pitching the site as:

We’re reading a lot about the candidates and the media this election season. But what are they reading? At google.com/powerreaders now you can track the news sites and blogs Barack Obama and John McCain read (from Drudge to The Daily Show) and follow articles catching the eyes of leading political journalists….share articles that interest them. You can follow shared articles and blog posts, or you can add participants’ reading lists or shared news feeds to your own Reader account.

Shared Google Reader blogs aren’t new, but this is the first time I can recall Google creating a special site for shared feeds based around a topic. More notably though, it’s a content play by Google. This is a news aggregation site, and a decent one at that, but it automatically competes with any existing players in this space. Whether that’s good or bad I’ll leave others to call, but it does seem to be part of the pattern where Google is moving away from empowering creators to being a competitor in its own right.