This has been a very interesting race to watch. Within the last few weeks two GOP candidates (Mike Huckabee and John McCain) have come from relative obscurity and into contention for the nomination. They had both spent months on end out of the media limelight (cross-hairs) that usually accompanies the GOP front-runner(s) . It's like they've been drafting at the back of the pack of cyclists, without ever taking their turn up front where the pedaling is more difficult. Having evaded the negative headlines for months has proven beneficial for both.
Much has been said/argued about Huckabee's rise . . . and it's clear that the DNC/MSM axis has held much of their fire seeing him as an "easy kill" in a general election. But what of McCain?
McCain's rise was PRECEDED by newspaper endorsements from the Des Moines Register, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and the New Hampshire Union-Leader. TV and print journalists were obviously impressed and joined on the "comeback-kid" praise McCain bandwagon. Thomas Alan at ElectRomneyIn2008.com/ComMITTed to Romney expanded on how the McCain surge has been completely media created and driven. The editorial boards in New Hampshire have praised McCain and bashed Romney with regularity over the last week. And don't even get me started on how cable news outlets have been fanning the flames of McCain's surge and shouting nothing but negativity about Romney.
Does the MSM have power? Of course they do, but how they choose to wield it is the more important point. They know they have power/influence. As proof, just today I saw Chuck Todd (NBC's political director) actually admit on Hardball with Chris Matthews: "If John McCain comes in third in Iowa, we in the media, will carry him to a win in New Hampshire." (his assumption was that Huckabee would beat Romney in Iowa). That arrogance just inflames me.
But isn't there an inherent danger in being a media-created contender? Do we want to choose a nominee that has the media constantly plugging and defending them during the GOP primary? If they're in need of it now to rise in the polls do you think they can count on that during the general election? Absolutely not! The same media that is pumping McCain in NH and elsewhere is not going to be behind him if he's the nominee. You can take that one to the bank.
Instead, how about having a candidate that's been routinely savaged by the media with personal character attacks, gross distortions of his record, and misleading propaganda? How about one that has been has been target #1 for the DNC (drawing more press-release attacks than McCain, Thompson and Huckabee COMBINED!)? Maybe the one who has been THE MAIN TARGET OF EVERY OTHER GOP CANDIDATE FOR MONTHS ON END? Or one that has yet to draw an endorsement from a liberal newspaper's editorial board? Which do you think will have a better chance in the general election . . . the one who's a front-runner DESPITE the MSM coverage or the one(s) that's a challenger BECAUSE of the MSM coverage? I think the answer to that is clear. I'd want the guy who's truly battle-tested.
I can only hope that the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire can see thorough the MSM's distortions and look at the actual records and capabilities of the candidates. If they do that, it's clear to see that Romney will win in a landslide.