Radio talker Hugh Hewitt is one of those who are into the John McCain fantasy, that the senior AZ Senator will make a go of it in 2008. (Is it time for me to reiterate why I'm almost certain that this will not happen and that McCain knows it.)
He tells of his conversation with FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace on his radio program Friday. He asked Wallace if he though Limbaugh's dislike for McCain will hurt McCain in '08, and Wallace laughed Limbaugh off.
I disagreed with Wallace then as did many e-mailers that quickly weighed in. My guess is that television bigs still don't understand the sort of awesome focus and political muscle that Rush and to lesser extents other talkers bring to elections, especially with the new power of the blogs adding to, providing ammunition for, and refining that mass market of talk radio. McCain, Rudy Guiliani, Senator Bill Frist etc all have to develop a new media strategy now, one that recognizes the relationships with Sunday morning anchors and shows does indeed matter, but perhaps not nearly as much as the relationship with Rush, Hannity, and other talkers as well as Powerline, Instapundit, The Corner's mob and Geraghty, LGF, INDCJournal etc.It's a grassroots thaang, and the grassroots these potential GOP candidates want to grab is tuned into talk radio and weblogs moreso than the Sunday morning guys.
How does a politician cultivate a relationship with a blogger? With a talk radio show host as with a Sunday show host, you show up and help him fill time as a guest. With a blogger… I'm not certain. Send him money?