Wednesday night, Unified Patriots scooped most of the world on the launch of a significant “Draft Rick Perry” site and movement. The young start-up, with so-far humble numbers, humble beginnings, but quite a bit of connection where it counts, ran with the launch of TimeForPerry and a hard-hitting video Wednesday night with two front–page stories before 11:15pm Wednesday, and a follow-up before 10am Thursday.
Most of the media and blogging world had it by noon Thursday. Our JadedbyPolitics had it on the site 18 hours before that, at 5:48pm Wednesday, 6 hours before it started getting its first national play.
Now the thing is, we weren’t the first to be informed. We learned of it by monitoring twitter feeds of important conservative voices. Its veracity was confirmed by Washington insiders. More on that later.
In a word, yes. There are two big stories in the forefront of the nation’s political mind right now: the nation’s debt ceiling marathon debate; and the race for the Republican nomination for the 2012 general presidential election. On the GOP preidential race, the as-yet undeclared Rick Perry is a central figure, perhaps THE central figure, because if he runs, he immediately becomes one of the front-runners.
So Texas Governor Rick Perry is big news, and all things Rick Perry are at least noteworthy at this point. He seems poised to enter the campaign. While there are various “Draft Perry” groups, this one is significant. Frankly Perry has demonstrated enormous grass-roots appeal, appears to have a solid national infrastructure, and appears to have fantastic fundraising potential. His anti-Washington rhetoric and policies go a long way between the Left Coast and the the Other Left Coast™. The remaining question is, does he have a power base in Washington itself? Does he have high-powered allies and supporters?
I don’t know much about the details of who is behind TimeforPerry. What I do know is they are high-powered conservative Washington insiders, who are lobbying other high-powered players, inside and outside of Washington, to combine their forces in backing Rick Perry. I find that compelling and interesting, and I also find it…..newsworthy.
Who covered it…
Apparently lots of others found it newsworthy as well. Reporting on it less than 12 hours after we did were RealClearPolitics, Washington Examiner, ABC News, and Politico. The many who picked up the AP feed before noon included the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Palm Beach Post, and Miami Herald.
None of them covered it all that deeply, but they all considered it enough to mention it.
…and who didnt
I realize that “draft Perry” sites are a dime a dozen, I find it a bit disheartening that the conservative news and blogs have barely touched this particular launch. The who behind it, THAT is the story. It’s not the scoop of the century, but it is certainly worthy of some note. But to my knowledge, only Breitbart.com had anything remotely considered timely coverage. I highly doubt the story is being squelched or deliberately downplayed. I have to conclude that major conservative news and blogs don’t consider it notable.
I am aware that one particular conservative blog site had early knowledge of this launch. This site, a national powerhouse and one of the most influential blogs on Capitol Hill, did not make mention of it until 3:30pm Thursday. Considering that they are self-proclaimed king-makers, and additionally considering that Governor Perry has been and continues to be a huge friend to them, a casual mention of a significant pro-Perry turn of events, 24 hours and 50 stories after they had the scoop – that just seems to be in bad taste.
The rest of the right news-blog world, well, they can be excused for skipping a pro-Perry scoop. Not all of them have had Governor Perry as the keynote speaker of their annual convention for two years running. Their editorial staffs didn’t get invited to an afternoon of skeet-shooting and grilling at his house. One would expect a little favorable attention from Kingmakers-R-Us.com.
The video (again)
In case you missed it [and if you read nothing but conservative blogs, you probably did….]: