Be a First Responder for Rudy
Repeat something often enough and it becomes conventional wisdom. This is Kerry's race to lose. Howard Dean looks unstoppable in the Democratic primary. John McCain is the inevitable Republican nominee in 2008.
A year ago, Giuliani and McCain were tied in the polls. The same is true today. But endless repetition of McCain-as-frontrunner mantra has hardened to the point where McCain's chances of getting the nod are rated as highly as Hillary's and for that matter, George W. Bush's in 1999. This is strange, given the fact that Rudy's support is more likely to stick around because it comes from people who actually vote in primaries.
It's time we dismantled the conventional wisdom brick by brick.
How many stories have you seen that fail to even mention Rudy Giuliani while covering every move by McCain, Romney, Allen, and even... Pataki? How pieces have you seen that cite McCain as the sole frontrunner, a proposition that is empirically incorrect? Or articles that, even when they do mention Rudy, claim that he is running second in the polls to McCain (again, this is demonstrably wrong).
The answer to all these questions is "Too many."
When you do see such a piece, I'm asking you to email the reporter and his or her editors to correct the record. I will also flag such pieces on this blog when they appear, and if you're a pro-Rudy blogger I'm asking you to flag this biased coverage as well. As one of the "Big Four" Republicans of '08, Rudy deserves the same extensive coverage as the other WH'08 contenders, even if it means trudging to every Get Motivated! seminar from now till he announces. As the co-frontrunner with McCain, he should be portrayed accurately as such.
It's with some hesitation that I take this step, because the people who often do this are uncouth cranks crudely working the refs. But I've come to the conclusion that there is an important difference between this and astroturfing for Condi Rice or Al Gore, who are not running. Simply put, we have the facts and public opinion on our side. Rudy has visited Iowa, is raising money for '06 candidates, and probably has a more active travel schedule than anyone in the race. It's not 100% that he runs -- but if he does, he's the odds-on favorite. Speaking from experience, even one reasoned e-mail to a war-weary reporter offering constructive criticism can go a long way.
Be a first responder for Rudy. And just as important, be very, very polite!