Is Obama trying to bury his VP announcement?

posted at 7:34 am on August 22, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Most politicians know that Friday evening announcement serve to bury bad news in the weekend news cycles.  By Friday evening, most people have left their houses to entertain themselves, and stop paying close attention to news until the next Monday.  With the end of the Olympics approaching, that may be more true this weekend than most.

According to George Stephanopolous, Barack Obama plans to make his running-mate announcement in this Dead Zone:

But what if the Obama campaign announces the vp  — via campaign text and email blast to supporters — on Friday when more people will be sitting at home, watching the Olympics?

Noting all signs point to Saturday, ABC News’ Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos said a Friday announcement might have political benefits too.

“Just about every indication that I have, Charlie, from people close to the process, is that they’re going to try to hold this until Saturday,” Stephanopoulos told ABC’s Charlie Gibson on World News Thursday night. “To get the word out just a little bit before Barack Obama and the pick show up in Springfield, Illinois.”

However, Stephanopoulos said the Obama campaign wants to make sure that all the people who signed up to get the message on their cell phones or blackberries are in a position to receive them — for maximum impact.

“So it could come tomorrow night during the Olympics,” Stephanopoulos said, noting that technology experts estimate high usage between 8pm and 10pm on weeknights.

That’s mighty impressive spin.  Most young people won’t stay home on a Friday to watch sports; they’ll go out.  The Olympics has generated decent ratings; NBC is smashing the competition, but the ratings are in the 20 range, not exactly a national phenomenon as it was in years gone by.  Bloomberg also reports that the ratings have declined since Michael Phelps ended his amazing run.

An announcement on Friday evening or Saturday morning puts it in a low-media zone.  News junkies will catch the analysis immediately, but the rest of the nation will miss it.  More importantly, waiting until the weekend means that the announcement will come while most delegates to the convention will be in transit to Denver.  The very people Obama wants to enthuse will miss it.

Why not announce yesterday, when the choice could have dominated the media cycle for a couple of days while people were still paying attention?  Given Obama’s dropping poll numbers, he needs big media buzz, and he could have used it this week, apart from the convention.  Either Obama wants to wait until the convention to announce, or he has a confidence problem in his selection — and he wants the media scrutiny to hit when people aren’t paying attention.

If he announces at the convention, it’s going to be Hillary Clinton.  A Hillary selection works best at the convention, providing a dramatic moment of unity.  If he waits until the media Dead Zone, I’d guess either Joe Biden or Evan Bayh.  However, one very pragmatic problem comes with Hillary: her debt.  She only retired $1.3 million off of a debt that surpassed $20 million, and that would kill Obama’s fundraising advantage over McCain — and that’s without counting the RNC’s whopping advantage over the DNC.


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I like it!

A cute doggy with a bag over its head would be vastly superior to Tim Kaine or Joe Biden, who are both worthless hacks.

Come to think of it, this dog would make the best Presidential candidate for the Democrats in decades, perhaps even history.

Hope! Change! Purina in every pot!

NoDonkey on August 22, 2008 at 8:22 AM

It’s going to be a boring white guy.

SouthernGent on August 22, 2008 at 8:23 AM

I don’t think Barack’s trying to bury the VP announcement, but instead that he’s left himself no choice. He probably had a pick made, and then his dropping poll numbers have forced a recalculation. He may be thinking he has to pick Hillary if he wants to win but he just can’t bring himself to do it. Plus, they are probably working on some kind of ‘pre-nup’ type agreement if she’s going to be the pick.

JeffC_95 on August 22, 2008 at 8:24 AM

Wild speculation (algore) on such a tightly guarded (algore) and important topic (algore) is totally pointless (algore). Tis the political self-gratification (algore) of small minds (algore) with too much time to waste (algore).

locomotivebreath1901 on August 22, 2008 at 8:26 AM

My pick?…

Obama has chosen Jesus himself to descend from heaven and sit at his right hand. Right now he’s just waiting for that tropical storm to clear up over Florida so the Holy one doesn’t get blown off course on the way down.

nosliwelyk on August 22, 2008 at 8:28 AM

nosliwelyk on August 22, 2008 at 8:28 AM

I thought Barack had the power to clear up such trifles if they stood in his way.

JeffC_95 on August 22, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Right now he’s just waiting for that tropical storm to clear up over Florida so the Holy one doesn’t get blown off course on the way down.

nosliwelyk on August 22, 2008 at 8:28 AM

That tropical storm is merely the latest warning from said Holy one to Florida, to make sure that this year those hanging chads are counted correctly, as in whenever they favor the Chosen One.

Bigfoot on August 22, 2008 at 8:33 AM

Maybe Obama has noticed how good at the counterpunch McCain’s campaign has been as of late. Maybe they want as much delay as possible so the McCain campaign does not have time to bash the choice before all attention is drawn to the Democrat convention.

BryanS on August 22, 2008 at 8:33 AM

A cute doggy with a bag over its head would be vastly superior

While the dog is quite probably native born, it’s highly unlikely that it meets the constitutional age requirement of 35. (Unless we are allowed to convert to doggy years.)

MarkTheGreat on August 22, 2008 at 8:36 AM

It could be that he just found out Karl Marx is dead. Hum, he was praising China – Sorry Obama, Mao is dead too.

BobK on August 22, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Maybe he’s just foolishly enamored of the idea of doing this via the techie way with the text messages?

aikidoka on August 22, 2008 at 8:40 AM

Could it just be that he has been turned down by his top tier of choices.?????

sbark on August 22, 2008 at 8:46 AM

If they want the text message gimmick to work right, they should do it in the evening – maybe 6 Eastern or so.

During business hours the cell sites could get overloaded in areas with high concentrations of the liberal elite, and the messages might not be delivered simultaneously to his limo-lib base.

Picture this – it’s 5 o’clock happy hour in some trendy bar in San Francisco, and a bunch of elite know-it-all types are hanging around sipping mojitos and Stella Artois when the message comes out and only one of them gets it on time. Can you image the pain and embarrassment that might cause the others whose texts may have been delayed by cell site capacity problems?

forest on August 22, 2008 at 8:46 AM

I have a tip that it is very likely it is Biden and Barry will announce today.

benrand on August 22, 2008 at 8:46 AM

I have a tip that it is very likely it is Biden and Barry will announce today.

benrand on August 22, 2008 at 8:46 AM

If it ends up being someone so obviously more experienced as Biden, I think the McCain can use his version of humor to mockingly approve and start referring to the “Biden Administration”.

BryanS on August 22, 2008 at 8:52 AM

This is just more of the Obama grandstanding. Like children waiting for Santa to finally show up in the department store. Those people need to grow up…and so do we judging by all the hype. And….what’s this about FOX refusing to air McCain’s Ayers ad?

jeanie on August 22, 2008 at 8:59 AM

I’m writing in that dog for my candidate.

flyawaybird on August 22, 2008 at 9:08 AM

There’s always the possibility that Obama has actually made a couple of preliminary choices, but further vetting has produced that “Oops, we can’t do that” moment, where some possible bump in the road (i.e. a financial problem, personal association problem or John Edwards/Bill Clinton-like problem) forces the campaign back to the drawing board two or three times.

jon1979 on August 22, 2008 at 9:16 AM

jon1979 on August 22, 2008 at 9:16 AM

You probably have that backwards. It’s Obama who’s never been properly vetted. Once the prospective VP picks get a close look at who they’re dealing with, they turn Obama down.

JiangxiDad on August 22, 2008 at 9:18 AM

I don’t see how he can pick Herself. Too much animosity and threat.

Think_b4_speaking on August 22, 2008 at 9:20 AM

“While the dog is quite probably native born, it’s highly unlikely that it meets the constitutional age requirement of 35. (Unless we are allowed to convert to doggy years.)”

In America even today, Canine Americans are being locked in cages, are being chained up, for the simple crime of sleeping on the sofa, chewing up a book or humping a leg. My administration will put an end to these despicable, barbaric practices.

It’s high time to stop allowing a bunch of rules made by dead white guys to stand in the way of hope and change. I have become a symbol for members of the Canine community, the world over.

NoDonkey on August 22, 2008 at 9:21 AM

Obama/Baggie Dog 2008!

I like it!

Let’s face it, “Woof! Woof! Grrrrrrr, WoofWoof!” is every bit as substantive as “Hope, Change, Obama!”

gridlock2 on August 22, 2008 at 9:22 AM

I think they planned on announcing yesterday (Thursday) but the McCain “Homes” thing happened and they wanted it to get a full news cycle or two.

AYNBLAND on August 22, 2008 at 9:27 AM

That dog is as experienced as Obama, he’s been to Obedience School and he’s been around the block a time or two.

And he doesn’t know any loony preachers or nutty terrorists.

He polls well in all demographics.

The perfect candidate.

NoDonkey on August 22, 2008 at 9:27 AM

Obama might be less qualified than “The Unknown Comic” – As a candidate, he was funnier until the dem’s actually voted for him.

phreshone on August 22, 2008 at 9:27 AM

Can you image the pain and embarrassment that might cause the others whose texts may have been delayed by cell site capacity problems?

If the Republicans were smart… (Hey, I said if!), they would find out when The One was going to send out his text message and immediately text out the musical score of The HMS Pinafore to it’s entire mailing list, repeatedly…

So while the weenies are all looking at dead Blackberries, we can all be singing “I am the very model of a modern Major General…”

gridlock2 on August 22, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Most young people won’t stay home on a Friday to watch sports; they’ll go out.

If they were to do it on Friday night, maybe the thinking was that they’re young followers will get the message on their phone as they go out and then they’ll tell all their friends and talk about it.

CP on August 22, 2008 at 9:30 AM

How much do you want to bet it is announcement sometime after 3pm EST.?

Darksean on August 22, 2008 at 9:31 AM

For those that want to know, text VP to 62262. I have gone to “The One’s” site and looked how so you don’t have to :)

sprzepiora on August 22, 2008 at 9:34 AM

A cute doggy with a bag over its head would be vastly superior

While the dog is quite probably native born, it’s highly unlikely that it meets the constitutional age requirement of 35. (Unless we are allowed to convert to doggy years.)

MarkTheGreat on August 22, 2008 at 8:36 AM

I think the dog looks Welsh. Someone had better check his birth certificate.

forest on August 22, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Don’t worry, most of the libs sitting anxiously with their mobile phones waiting for the text message to come thru won’t get it. They forgot to pay their bill while waiting, so, they are suspended.

William Teach on August 22, 2008 at 9:36 AM

My dark horse guess is Caroline Kennedy. She, like Cheney, headed the VP search team. Who would dare attack her ? And she would appeal to some of the older people who still worship John. No track record so the masses would be invited to project their fondest hopes on her, as they have the Messiah.

JonRoss on August 22, 2008 at 9:39 AM

If he does not announce before the convention it’s going to be Hillary. This idiot buffoon will do and say anything to win.

Winebabe on August 22, 2008 at 9:40 AM

Watch him announce his VP choice to be Mama Michelle!

It would be the proof the world needs to see that B.O. is out of his frigging mind!

pilamaye on August 22, 2008 at 9:43 AM

I love the way you channeled the Unknown Comic on that one–one of the greatest comedy acts of all time!

backwoods conservative on August 22, 2008 at 9:45 AM

I hope he chooses Clinton at the convention, and she declines.

BadgerHawk on August 22, 2008 at 9:52 AM

If it ends up being someone so obviously more experienced as Biden, I think the McCain can use his version of humor to mockingly approve and start referring to the “Biden Administration”.

BryanS on August 22, 2008 at 8:52 AM

I like that. A lot. Give Obama a taste of the McSame medicine.

BadgerHawk on August 22, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Listening to someone tout Hillary’s experience. What exactly is she experienced at? Campaigning? She’s spent more time doing that than doing anything else.

Connie on August 22, 2008 at 9:56 AM

Lord Obama will not pick a running mate.

How can the Messiah have a #2 man? He is The One.

faraway on August 22, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Maybe the truth is, Obama has dropped in the polls so much even a dog is having second thoughts about being his running mate.

Speakup on August 22, 2008 at 10:12 AM

LORD OBAMA IS THE ONE.

indythinker on August 22, 2008 at 10:24 AM

“Maybe the truth is, Obama has dropped in the polls so much even a dog is having second thoughts about being his running mate.”

All Obama has to do is to offer a juicy ham bone and the dog is in the bag.

Dogs are so easy.

NoDonkey on August 22, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Duh! He’s waiting till after Limbaugh is off the air on Friday. Might as well wait till Saturday. The fact is that B. Hussein cannot bear to share the spotlight with anyone, so the longer he can delay having the focus shift off his glass chin, the better for his totalitarian ego.

Western_Civ on August 22, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Hillary! as VP is a laugh. She doesn’t want her star tied to what she believes would be a failed administration. Try running for president on your party’s ticket after Barry screws up the country. Yeah, the voters would be overjoyed to vote in another Dem. As for the VP pick, Barry will make sure it’s buried….after all, it’s all about HIM.

GarandFan on August 22, 2008 at 11:14 AM

That dog is well trained. My dog would have ripped it to shreds. Or, worse, given me the look that says, Why are you doing this to me?

Blake on August 22, 2008 at 11:25 AM

It’s going to be a boring white guy.

SouthernGent on August 22, 2008 at 8:23 AM

As a white guy I resent your inference that all white guys are boring. I, for one, am not boring. Why I had the whole room enthralled at the last Elks Club meeting with my explaination of the route I took to Panama City and the excellent gas milage I got on the way. When will you stop oppressing my people?!

mugged on August 22, 2008 at 12:07 PM

Is this just a foreshadowing of a collapse of epic proportions unlike any seen in half century or longer?

Wildcatter1980 on August 22, 2008 at 12:35 PM

“I am the very model of a modern Major General…”

gridlock2 on August 22, 2008 at 9:28 AM

…isn’t from Pinafore, it’s from Pirates of Penzance.

/pedant
:-)

Mary in LA on August 22, 2008 at 1:28 PM

For those that want to know, text VP to 62262. I have gone to “The One’s” site and looked how so you don’t have to :)

sprzepiora on August 22, 2008 at 9:34 AM

So O-B-A-M-A is 62262 on your telephone keypad …
6, 6, 2+2+2 = 6…
I can’t be the first one to have noticed that…
;-)

Mary in LA on August 22, 2008 at 1:31 PM

The text messaging angle is a boondoggle at every level. As long as the message is delivered as promised, it doesn’t matter when users pick it up. Those who are really excited about it have probably had their phones in their pockets all week. The only point of that whole exercise was to generate a list of difficult to obtain cellphone contacts for likely supporters and post-convention solicitations — among other uses.

JM Hanes on August 22, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Hey, CC’s collie is up for BO’s veep!!

Big John on August 22, 2008 at 3:57 PM

The closer to the convention the VP announcement, the less time the PUMA folks will have to complain and/or organize resistance. The conspicuous Clinton homage in the Denver plan is just diplomatic cover for the otherwise unceremonious dumping of Hillary and her debt that will occur as soon as she no longer represents a threat — and a self-administered inoculation against accusations that she’s been treated with disrespect.

JM Hanes on August 22, 2008 at 4:04 PM

Could it just be that he has been turned down by his top tier of choices.?????

sbark on August 22, 2008 at 8:46 AM

Very good possibility. Please let it be Jon Cary!

Kevin71 on August 22, 2008 at 5:02 PM

Look, it’s Allah’s dog! He dresses him like that so the moonbats and Jihadis won’t know him.

- The Cat

MirCat on August 22, 2008 at 6:48 PM

Hope! Change! Purina in every pot!

NoDonkey on August 22, 2008 at 8:22 AM

ROTF – That is so good – LMAO

gxpgxp on August 22, 2008 at 10:23 PM

In America even today, Canine Americans are being locked in cages, are being chained up, for the simple crime of sleeping on the sofa, chewing up a book or humping a leg. My administration will put an end to these despicable, barbaric practices.

It’s high time to stop allowing a bunch of rules made by dead white guys to stand in the way of hope and change. I have become a symbol for members of the Canine community, the world over.

NoDonkey on August 22, 2008 at 9:21 AM

ROTF, again! That is too much! I think you need to form an organization – Code Canine perhaps.

gxpgxp on August 22, 2008 at 10:30 PM