Michael Moore’s Booster Shot

Michael Moore’s response to Rudy Giuliani’s attacks? Expect something soon, as the filmmaker rarely lets such high-profile attention pass by, especially with “Sicko” still in theaters.

Chris Lehane, who has been the film’s political adviser, sounded almost thrilled by Giuliani’s latest strategy, in which he has lumped Moore in with the top Democratic candidates as supportive of socialized medicine.

“You only get attacked if you are seen as a threat,” Lehane says.

He pointed out that while GOP candidates used to use Ted Kennedy as a kind of left-wing boogeyman to appeal to a conservative base, now it is Moore. “For progressives, it is considered a badge of honor,” Lehane says.

“There is not a better way to generate box office success than to draw attention to the movie,” Lehane says. “Whatever short-term benefit Rudy may get … it is in the short term an immediate benefit to the box office and in the long-term a benefit to health care reform.”

Then, he quipped, “It must be their own theory of trickle down economics.”

Of the 2008 candidates, only Dennis Kucinich has actively embraced Moore and the movie, although Lehane points out that they have gotten support from organized labor groups and other lawmakers. He added that he is encouraged that ’08ers are at least broaching the ideas of large-scale overhaul of health care and a universal, single-payers system as “maybe something we need to look at.”

“People are now beginning to talk about the situation in more dramatic terms,” he says.

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