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November 18, 2007

Waiting for the media OK on Fred [someone]

Now I'm probably not allowed to express a non-Rudy-shilling position on primary season in this blog, so most of this post is after the cut.

(Bottom line: if you like the guy, donate this Wednesday.)


A recent straw poll among Redstate readers/commenters had Fred far, far ahead of the field, both in first-place preference and overall. I think this is pretty representative of online activist opinion -- unsurprisingly, since his views are so superior a fit for primary voters that it's not funny. The odd thing, though, is that pro-Fred sentiment is oddly muted around the blogosphere, even at Redstate itself.

There are, I think, several reasons for this. First, obviously, is the hostile media environment. From his very first speech, the beltway media settled upon a unified metanarrative: that Fred, being not inclined to do things their way, lacked "fire" and heart and couldn't be taken seriously. Thus the bizarre "Hm, who's going to win, Rudy or Romney?" stories, and the suggestion that a Gallup poll (the most recent) that actually has him UP shows the cratering of his campaign. To even *mention* Fred, at this point, seems a faux pas on the level of suggesting a year ago that we could win the war.

Second, the "conservative" blogosphere turns out to be not terribly representative of the base at this huge juncture. Half of them are beltway manque, and a whole bunch of others (including our host) are actually to the left of Republican center and *like* Rudy's non-conservative positions. If Fred gets the nomination they'll all of course back him against Darth Rodham, but for now most seem happy to assist the media in shoving Giuliani down our throats.

Third, Fred's campaign hasn't seemed to do much in establishing an effective counternarrative in the online world. It's not necessarily essential -- getting bloggers backing him may not be the best way to win South Carolina and do well enough relatively in the other early states to wind up as the last non-Rudy standing (at which point he'd be a pretty strong favorite) -- but the visible morale of his backers isn't nothing either.

So what? Well, if you're Fred's campaign you might think of winning a few new media news cycles. Establishment outlets aren't going to give him credit unless and until he has the nomination almost sewn up, but he does have lots of sympathetic ears elsewhere, many of whom seem to be waiting for some cue. And aren't we supporting the guy largely for his ability to reframe issues in the teeth of the media?

But if, like most of us morons, you're neither a pro nor a blogging bigshot, I think the important thing is to realize that the media's never going to come out and say "OK, this guy Fred has a good chance, it's OK to support him now." The beltway is too much of a guild, the Republican establishment is too liberal, and big bloggers have a bit too much of each going on. What's left? You. If you're for the guy, stand up. Here, at the online donation day Wednesday (organized, incidentally, totally spontaneously in his blog's comments section), at home, on your blog, whatever. After the immigration triumph, I'll never doubt grassroots conservatives' potential again. Don't you sell yourselves short either.

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posted by xgenghisx at 08:15 AM

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