I’m not saying there’s a cause and effect, I’m just throwing out an interesting timeline.
Today, ARG comes out with a poll, showing McCain at 20 percent in Iowa… A huge jump, good for second place in a state that the Arizona senator was supposed to be dead in…
Also today Matt Drudge comes out with a breaking, top-of-the-fold scoop, depicting McCain as begging the New York Times to not run a story that portrays him badly. (Yesterday, when Huckabee seemed to be the target of the day, as Drudge featured an awful old picture of the former Arkansas governor looking large enough to resemble an offshore island when swimming.)
(McCain says it’s nonsense, and that he hasn’t contacted the Times; he says his staffers have contacted the magazine regarding this story they’re working on.)
It’s almost as if Drudge – you know, who wrote about McCain’s “cancer scare” from a bruise that the senator got when he bumped his head on a helicopter door while visiting Iraq – had an axe to grind in the GOP primary or something… Or that maybe he had a preferred candidate on the rhoades to 2008…
UPDATE: Want to know something else weird? The New York Times reporter mentioned in Drudge’s item, Jim Rutenberg, has written in the past about the alleged ties between Team Romney and the site:
The early advantage on their side, in the view of several Republicans, seems to have gone to Mitt Romney, who hired the former Bush political aide who had been the central party’s prime point of contact with Mr. Drudge, Matthew Rhoades. His status was solidified after the 2004 election at a steakhouse dinner in Miami with Mr. Drudge, who for all his renown in politics is a somewhat spectral presence who rarely agrees to meet with political operatives or journalists and who did not respond to requests for an interview for this article.