Sen. McCain and the New Media

Posted: Jan 23, 2007 3:00 PM
Sen. McCain and the New Media

Hugh Hewitt is concerned that Sen. John McCain, who is my client, does not engage the new media. And believe me, when Hugh blogs, I take it seriously—he is a powerful evangelist for our medium. But he needn’t be as concerned as he is.

For example, Sen. McCain was the first prospective presidential aspirant to appear the Glenn and Helen Show, Glenn Reynolds’ popular Podcast. At the time, Hugh called the move, “The Future of Politics” and said, “Any consultant worth his or her salt will be looking for long form interviews with such professionals.”

Earlier this month while Hugh was discussing the new media with Glenn Reynolds, the subject came up again:

HH: … So those three are now going to go at it. And assess those three's positioning. McCain has Patrick Hynes, and the other two have their people. What's their positioning with the new media right now?

GR: Well, McCain has been very aggressive about confronting, or courting the new media. And indeed, he did one of our Glenn and Helen show podcasts which you aired some excerpts of, in fact. …

Of course, one can always logon to Porkbusters where Sen. McCain made his first foray into the blogging world. Or visit Ed Morrissey’s site Captain’s Quarters, which hosted a guest post from Sen. McCain on Hillary Clinton’s untenable position on North Korea. Or Power Line which hosted a guest post from Sen. McCain on the proposed troop surge.

Or one could talk to Pat Curley, who runs Brainster. Curley has endorsed John McCain for President of the United States. Hugh Hewitt had high praise for Curley in 2004 when Curley co-blogged at Kerry Haters.

There’s Steve Martin, a McCain supporter in New Hampshire who started his own blog. McCain has fans in Alabama, too. And New Jersey. There’s even an online Draft McCain movement.

Here’s what Larry Kudlow, blogging at National Review Online’s the Corner said about Sen. McCain recently:

In the midst of all the latest doubt, pessimism and arguing over our direction in Iraq, along comes John McCain, digging his heels in the sand and standing up for what is right. John McCain is fighting the tide.

The tide is defeatist.

The tide is asking us to throw our arms into the air and allow iniquity to win the day.

The tide is asking us to allow ruthless and evil totalitarians in Iran and Syria to seize victory.

The tide is asking us to blow American credibility for fifty years.

Fortunately, in the middle of all this, in the middle of James Baker's wishful thinking Iraq

Study Group fog, along comes John McCain, reminding Americans we have two choices: win or lose.

That’s called courage. That’s called principle. That’s called leadership.

Of course, this is John McCain we’re talking about here. Many conservative bloggers are very unhappy with him over a number off issues for which they disapprove of his position or style. So it’s all the more surprising when bloggers like Matt Lewis or Doug Lambert say kind things about him.

Hugh is also concerned that Sen. McCain’s campaign, should he chose to run, possesses “very little in the way to suggest it will have reach into Iowa, New Hampshire or beyond.”

I appreciate Hugh’s concern. But here is some video I shot recently of Sen. McCain with a group of Republican state senators in New Hampshire. He seems to have some “reach” here in my Granite State, wouldn’t you say? And as the Caucus Cooler blog pointed out very recently, McCain is making some significant advances in Iowa, as well.

Of course, it’s early. And Sen. McCain has a lot of work to do if he plans to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States. One could credibly argue that McCain is not, in fact, the frontrunner, as Rudy Giuliani routinely leads most polls. And Sen. McCain has a lot of relationship building to do with bloggers. Some will be unwilling to hear him out. Others will be willing to hear him out but will remain unpersuaded. And some, in time, may come around. But as both Human Events and Power Line have pointed out, we are reaching out to bloggers openly and aggressively.