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Drudge's Obama Crush

One of the theories for how Obama wins the general is that he blows up (or keeps blowing up) into a massive pop-cultural/marketing phenomenon that completely  drowns out anything the McCain campaign says or does. The Nike of politics probably beats some old white guy most days of the week. Particularly when the old white guy's party faces historically low levels of popularity.

If you're banking on this scenario--and there are probably worse ways to win an election--then you have to be encouraged by the piece Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith have in today's Politico. It's mainly about Matt Drudge's apparent affinity for Obama and his tepidness toward McCain. But the most interesting part has to do with the reason Drudge might favor Obama. Jonathan and Ben report that:

Others who know Drudge say Obama benefits from the site’s bias for a good story, and above all for the Next Big Thing.

“I think he is fatigued by Clinton, I think he is invigorated by Obama,” said one person who knows Drudge. “He would say that the Obama story is new. If you’re somebody who does what he does, you get really sick of the same stories.”

“He’s interested in what brings people to the site — and Obama is a great box office,” said Jim Dyke, the communications director for the Republican National Committee in 2004. Asked if McCain could fix his Drudge problem, Dyke replied, “I don’t think there is very much you can do.” ...

Drudge-watchers noted that his traffic is increasingly international, bringing him an audience for whom a young charismatic and cosmopolitan Democrat who defies ethnicity is a fascination — unlike his opponent, just another white Republican male.

Drudge, who in keeping up his Salinger-like air of mystery declined to comment for this story, was quick to tout his transnational appeal in a rare interview with the British Sky News late last year.

“It’s become sort of an international clearing ground of news — not just American news, not just British news, not just European news — anywhere news,” he said. “This to me is the future, no boundaries.”

If you take Drudge as a leading indicator, the Obama pop-cultural-phenomenon strategy seems to be on track. (Granted, foreigners don't vote. But if Obama is becoming an international phenomenon, the same is probably happening in this country to some extent.)

--Noam Scheiber