Obama's VP: Why Not Wait Until Next Wednesday?
By Al Giordano
The more I think of it, there's little reason for soon-to-be Democratic nominee Barack Obama to announce his vice presidential pick before the convention begins in Denver a week from now, and one very good reason to wait - and keep everybody at the edges of their seats - until the second or third night of the convention.
With the campaign giving every American that text-messages the letters "VP" to telephone number 62262 (that's touchtone-speak for "O-B-A-M-A") the simultaneous opportunity to be the "first to know" about his choice (and thus gathering a multitude more of voters whose cell phone numbers are in his database and will be contacted with other news, invitations, fund appeals and requests over the coming months), there would be a distinct advantage to holding off on the announcement until during the convention itself.
From the (nationally televised) stage on Monday and Tuesday nights of the convention, the phone number offer could be announced again and again, netting many more hundreds of thousands of people to link into the Obama text-messaging network and then receive their instant gratification on Wednesday - the day of the pick. (And, after all, which of those millions doesn't get a secret thrill out of getting the confirmed news before the Great Mentioners and middlemen of the national media announce it?)
In fact, I can't think of any really good reason to spill the beans before then. That move would simply suck the oxygen out from Clinton-centric or other "off message" speculation to gain traction or dominate the convention week narrative and would retain a real element of surprise and meaningful theater to the convention itself, upping viewership, and making the eventual choice seem bigger than life: the whole world waiting, together, to find out the news.
The only potential downside of such an extended tease tactic would be if somebody got a photo of a campaign plane or placards being printed with the two names together, thus spoiling the surprise. But there are ways around that, too, simply by providing some decoy "leaks" or photos in which members of the national media announce with authority the name of the VP nominee, but end up proved wrong by the real deal.
Field Hands Update: We're now at 499 Field Hands (members of the network that puts you in contact with each other and facilitates organizing by Field Hand locals throughout the country and the world). Question of the day: Who will be Field Hand #500?
Update: Welcome Field Hands # 500 (Russell Wong) and # 501 (Eric Edenfield) and # 502 (Julie King)!