The seemingly interminable 2008 political season is heading for the home stretch, with the two major parties' national conventions taking place in the next two weeks. This week, it's the Democrats in Denver; next week, it will be the Republicans in St. Paul, Minnesota. Of the two conventions, this week's promises to be the most entertaining. While Barack Obama's nomination as the Democrat presidential candidate is a foregone conclusion, there still promises to be a lot of drama this week, both from the wackadoodle protesters from groups like Recreate68, and from the jilted Hillary Clinton supporters who feel like their candidate got a raw deal and have created groups with names like JustSayNoDeal and P.U.M.A. (Party Unity My Ass!)
We've been told how hip and tech-savvy Senator Obama and his team are, but events over the weekend have definitely caused some doubts. First, there was the method of notifying his supporters of his vice-presidential nominee choice: The Obama team was going to send out text messages to all of their supporters, letting them know first who it was going to be. Unfortunately, they waited way too late to send out the messages: They sent them out at 3:00 a.m. Saturday morning, even though the major media had figured out that it was going to be Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware a few hours earlier. 3:00 a.m.! Brilliant! If I was an Obama supporter and my cell phone had gone off at 3:00 a.m. and woken me up, I'd have been more than a little peeved. Talk about inconsiderate!
Not to mention incompetent from a media standpoint. They'd worked the media into a fever pitch and then just left them standing around in a circle jerk. Unfortunately, they missed the window of opportunity to break the news during the Friday news cycle. If they'd been smart, the choice would have been announced around noon on Friday, with wall-to-wall Biden coverage the rest of the day. Instead, by breaking it in the middle of the night, they only got the attention of news junkies who watch the Saturday morning news shows. Keep in mind that Friday late night was the same period that the disgraced John Edwards chose to make his confession on a late night news show. It's the time of the week where news goes to die. Not savvy at all.
And then there's the Biden pick itself. Senator Obama ran off his early string of caucaus and primary victories by running as the candidate of "change," as someone who was different from all of the other politicians and would change the way that Washington works. This was enough to get the attention of all of the starry-eyed naive young people who actually bought into the hype. Biden, however, is a six-term Senator, a consummate Washington insider. If you want to change the way that Washington works, Biden is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The only "change" an Obama-Biden ticket represents is a change in the party label of the bagmen upon whom the Washington lobbyists bestow their largesse. Sorry, kids; you've been pwned. Keep this in mind the next time some politician comes along and tells you he's not like all of the rest of them.