I listened to this segment of the John Gibson show yesterday and it took me a day to get ahold of the audio but here it is. It’s 9 minutes long and if your thinking of sitting at home in November because your upset over McCain you should listen to the whole thing. We cannot afford to allow another Jimmy Carter into the White House and believe me, Hillary/Obama would be Carter reincarnate.[audio:https://www.floppingaces.net/Audio/gibsonmccain.mp3]
Patrick Ruffini goes into John’s point about the conservative talk shows and other venues not being that much of a factor in this race:
Romney’s capturing of this constituency is seen in the election returns. He was essentially the candidate of white collar salesmen driving around in the suburbs listening to talk radio. He got 46% in Oakland County, Michigan, 38% in Cobb County, Georgia, and 42% in Duval County (Jacksonville), Florida. Those were virtually his lone standout performances — and they came from the world most bloggers and radio hosts inhabit. Even those of us who are social conservatives rarely live in the rural South. And because of this cocooning, the conservative elite failed to understand how those voters could possibly have more in common with a Baptist minister with a Massachusetts millionaire. We can debate the LDS effect all we want, but even without it, Romney already had two strikes against him: that he was from the land of Kennedy and Kerry and acted like it, and that he was too white collar for a party that most of the bluebloods have left.
The idea that talk radio could paper over this basic demographic divide is almost comical. The leader/follower model of conservative support (get Rush, the talkers, the CPAC people, all the groups on your side, and in so doing win the hearts and minds of a decisive majority of conservatives) has been proven starkly and decisively wrong.
Despite these challenges, it was still a close call. As I said: a few thousand votes the other way in New Hampshire… But still: the ease with which John McCain won states like South Carolina and Florida has taken us all aback. It all boils down to Agenda Conservatives being nowhere near a majority of the party. Yes, John McCain was a weak frontrunner, but Mitt Romney was a weak challenger, and enough conservatives chose character and authenticity over issues to make the difference.
Let’s face it: in this primary, blogs and talk radio were an echo chamber. What was happening in the electorate (identity-minded Christian voters choosing Huck; loosely affiliated conservatives choosing McCain) was unthinkable to Agenda Conservatives. At a minimum, this challenges us to think differently about the movement, to junk the leader/follower model for a networked model that elevates real grassroots outside the Beltway over “grasstops” and to find new ways of bringing low-information conservative voters into the fold.
We have to face the fact that a majority of this country is just not connected into politics. They pay attention when November rolls along but until then they watch it unfold in the periphery of their lives. When it came time to vote they saw a slick good looking man who reminded them of a salesman next to a older war hero with years of experience. We all saw who they picked.
I mean I didn’t feel that great about having to pick Romney on my ballot. He was not my first choice and it basically came down to who would do the least amount of damage. That’s a terrible position to be put in when your voting. You don’t like any of the candidates so who would damage the country least.
But I did realize then, and I certainly realize it now, Hillbama would be the next Jimmy Carter. McCain would not be. He isn’t perfect by a long shot but I will take my chances that he puts up a conservative to SCOTUS over Hillbama, and I know he will prosecute the War on Terror well. Everything else he will probably suck at. But thats two things he will do right whereas Hillbama won’t get one thing right.