The Washington Times contrasts John McCain’s good relationships with conservative bloggers with the rocky reception he’s gotten on talk radio:
Even as talk radio was brutalizing Sen. John McCain in the Republican presidential primaries, conservative bloggers reached a respectful truce with the Arizona senator over touchy issues and gave him what the campaign called a “tremendous positive psychological” boost.
As the Times notes, McCain’s outreach to the bloggers has been effective because it featured McCain himself conducting frequent conference calls which he has opened up to questions. We’ve reported on a number of them. To me, the most significant thing about our contacts with McCain has not been the elucidation of his policy positions, although the calls have been a reminder that McCain is, by any reasonable definition, a conservative. What has been most effective is the candidate himself: his humor, his evident sincerity, especially when talking about security issues, and the frankness of our exchanges with him.
Patrick Hynes, who coordinates internet outreach for the McCain campaign, has done a good job. In the campaign’s dark days last summer, there were several staff layoffs; each time, I wondered whether Patrick had survived. Luckily, perhaps, for McCain’s campaign, he did.