January 21, 2008


Accessibility Opens Doors For McCain (Howard Kurtz, 1/21/08, Washington Post)

As the JetBlue charter from Michigan touched down in South Carolina, I strolled up to John McCain's front-row seat -- none of his aides batted an eye -- and asked if he would continue to chat with reporters around the clock if he won the Republican nomination.

Most candidates, after all, grow more cautious around the media mob as the stakes get higher.

McCain said he couldn't stop, because "that destroys credibility." And besides, he said, "I enjoy it a lot. It keeps me intellectually stimulated, it keeps me thinking about issues, and it keeps me associated with a lower level of human being than I otherwise would be."

There he goes again.

McCain's ability to charm the press wasn't responsible for his big win in Saturday's South Carolina primary, but it didn't hurt.

A presidential campaign is obviously a whole different ballgame, but working on a political campaign and traveling with the candidate, I can say from personal experience that when journalists feel like they're seeing the candidacy from within it's almost an orgasmic experience for them. Just let the candidate get on the phone and turn his head to the nearby reporter and say, "Now, you can't write about this..." and you've got them...hook, line, and sinker. It's not that they won't run unfavorable stories when you deserve them, but they'll cut you slack when you don't.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2008 12:22 PM

George Bush courted the press in 2000 and got, on the whole, pretty positive coverage. I think Pelosi's daughter did a film that shows this.

After election, he shut himself off and his coverage reverted to standard anti-GOP levels.

A rare and foreseeable error.

Posted by: Bob at January 21, 2008 4:12 PM

And when the MSM turns on McCain once he is the GOP nominee and starts pumping Hillary/Obama I'm sure everyone here will be shocked.

The MSM like McCain because he agrees with them more than the party he supposedly is going to lead.

Posted by: AWW at January 21, 2008 7:39 PM

everyone likes to be on the inside. and, indeed, I'm sure, they'll cut them some slack when they don't really deserve it.......but, hey, who can imagine Hilary having the charisma and charm to pull something like that off, with the msm that follow her.....and Obama......he's just too.....what's the word......zealous.......I've noticed this, does anyone agree......conservatives are only comedians..

Posted by: neil at January 21, 2008 8:23 PM

The press eviscerated Clinton, Gore and Kerry while giving Dole and W free rides. They can't wait to destroy Hillary.

Posted by: oj at January 21, 2008 9:29 PM

OJ may be right - no matter their political affections for Hillary, I doubt if any journalists really 'like' her.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 21, 2008 10:01 PM


W did not get a free ride -- remember "Pop Quiz" Andy Hiller?

Gore and Kerry eviscerated themselves.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 21, 2008 11:58 PM

How was that not helpful to W?

Posted by: oj at January 22, 2008 12:39 AM