Upon waking up this morning and checking the news I discovered that Barack Obama has chosen Joe Biden to be his running mate for President. Not a terrible pick, but not his best either. But the question on the merits of Joe is not the question on my mind. The question I have is why did Obama wait until the middle-of-the-night on a Saturday morning to announce his Vice Presidential selection?
Anyone who pays attention to the news is well aware that the weekend is the worst time to make an important, seemingly positive, announcement. The only time politicians release news on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday is when it is something they hope to have forgotten and buried by Monday. Even employers wait until Friday afternoon to fire people.
To make matters worse, they announced it in the middle-of-the-night. Who made that genius decision? “Hey I’ve got a good idea, lets make the biggest announcement of our campaign for President by announcing on a day and time when the news media and the voters are sleeping and will spend the day recovering from their hang-overs.”
I think the reason they did this was because they wanted to milk the anticipation, they wanted to keep the media focus on them. They must have figured this was best done by leaking a little info each day, like Obama saying, ‘I know, but I’m not telling.’
Frankly, I think it was a terrible decision. One that will negate any sort of bounce as a result of Biden joining the ticket. What they should have done is announced last Thursday or Friday that the Veep selection will be made before the convention so that bloggers, media, and everyone else could spend the weekend speculating who and when, on Monday or Tuesday use the ‘I know but I am not telling’ line, and then announced Thursday morning. Then they would own the news cycle from Thursday through the convention, every pro- and anti- talk show on TV, radio, and internet would be talking about it and blocking any McCain news whatsoever, it would be like a 4-day news coup with at least two of those days being normal news days.
What I find most interesting about Obama’s campaign so far is that overall he has appeared to run a tight ship without any major and dire mistakes, but closer examination reveals little mis-steps, like this, that may not have a negative effect, but did not make the most out a particular situation. So far these kind of things have been costing Obama at the polls and allowed McCain pull into a tie. Obama will need to right his ship if he wants to have any hope of winning. Perhaps the choice of Biden is the first step towards doing that.
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