Sunday, August 24, 2008

on getting scooped.

Joe Biden has been announced as the Vice-Presidential pick of Barack Obama. And while my feelings on Joe Biden are really neither here nor there (he's no Joe Lieberman, the choice of which made me seriously re-consider voting for Al Gore in 2000, ultimately resulting in my literally holding my nose while making my selection, but he's also not Mark Warner or any other semi-unsafe choice that I was kind of hoping Barack would have the balls to choose) I think the main thing here is a lesson in how not to run what's being billed as an innovative campaign.

Y'all might remember that I was just extolling the virtues of this campaign when they announced that they were going to directly address the choice of Vice-President via text message. It was a bold step, something appropriate for this campaign, the next logical step, sure, but something that we'd expect from a future-leaning leftist, who was bragging about how in-touch with the common people he and his campaign were and are. I was a big fan of it.

But as days went by, on and on, and the Convention in Denver loomed ever closer, people, not just people I know, but people the country over, started to wonder: when was this announcement actually going to come? Then Obama had to go and brag to the mainstream news that he'd made his pick - but he wasn't going to tell us yet. Poor choice. Once that word was out, I'm sure they were focusing 99.99% of their political desks energies on getting that info...

And of course it worked. Check the Twitter stream from Friday night for references to Biden. When the AP broke the news, CNN's headline changed at least 3 times in the 5 minutes that I was refreshing the page while bowling. First it was, "AP Reports..." then it was "Obama's VP to be Announced Saturday..." and finally it was "Obama's VP: Biden..." This was about 11 P.M. Mountain time.

I got the official text from Obama's campaign at 2 A.M. That means that it took the campaign three hours to decide, "Well, the news has been leaked, we should just get the official word out there." That, to me, is disappointing, because what it means most of all is that they didn't have a plan for this. They didn't expect the word to be leaked? When they were all over the news bragging about how they'd made their decision, called the people it's not going to be, scheduled events, etc.? That's not impossible to believe, but it does say bad things to me about the reality of a campaign that claims to be so ear-to-the-ground, so technologically involved. Bad news bears.

So, I guess the final word here is that I'll have a little analysis of what the Biden choice means at a later date, but for now, I'm very disappointed in the fact that this campaign claims it speaks to the people, but got scooped by the biggest news organization! Certainly there's no inherent shame there, I mean, that is the job of this organization, but take a step up, be pro-active! Prove all these people who have had faith in your campaign right!

EDIT: Vindication! Via this CNN Political Ticker post you can even see that the Obama campaign themselves acknowledges the fact that they got scooped. I'm still of the firm belief that they wouldn't have gotten to that point if they hadn't tried to have their cake and eat it too.

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