There are lots of winners tonight. President Bush, pre-eminently; John Thune; Lisa Murkowski; Mel Martinez, and various others. But one of the big winners has to be Hugh Hewitt. Hugh has been a tower of strength throughout the campaign–not a pollyanna, but a rational voice of conservative confidence. Hugh steadied the troops whenever panic started to set in. He made the issues clear in his best-selling If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat. He rallied pro-Republican forces in various media to work together for the practical end of re-electing President George W. Bush and as many Republican Senators and Congressmen as possible. Why? Because electing Democrats is going to get us killed.
In this election cycle, Hugh has taken his place among the foremost figures in American public life. I may be wrong, and I mean no disrespect to Rush Limbaugh or other eminent talk show hosts, but it strikes me that no one has understood the congruence of media–radio, print media and the blogosphere–anywhere near as well as Hugh. No one has built as good a network of radio stations and web sites–like ours–as Hugh. No one has led conservatives into battle with such a clear conscience and such a lucid vision for the future as Hugh. When many of us, including me, doubted, Hugh was the ever-present voice of assurance. After the candidates themselves, and after the Swift Boat Vets, the wonderful returns we’ve seen tonight are a tribute to the vision of Hugh Hewitt. He is at the very top of the conservative punditocracy.
DEACON adds: Let’s also remember Hugh’s famous battle-cry — “if it’s not close, they can’t cheat.” Of course, Hugh may not have anticipated the Democrats’ response — try to cheat by redefining the meaning of “close.”
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