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Monday, August 11, 2008

On the Phone With Team Obama

posted by on August 11 at 12:30 PM

I just got off a conference call with Barack Obama’s Washington State Director, Carol Albert, and his National Political Director, Patrick Gaspard.

The purpose was to tell us people in the Washington State media all the latest on Obama’s plans to win here in November. But there wasn’t that much new for anyone who’s been following the race closely.

Obama expects to win here. He will fight hard for Washington’s 11 electoral votes. The campaign was excited by the record turnout of 245,000 people at our caucuses in February and thinks that bodes well. There are 18 Obama offices now open around Washington, from Walla Walla to Stanwood. They will be using high tech and traditional methods to reach voters, and yes, they are aware that we vote by mail in this state.

I wanted to ask the Obama people about polling. There hasn’t been much of it in Washington State, at least compared to other states that are seen as real “battlegrounds,” and I wondered what polls team Obama is looking at these days to give them confidence about Washington. (Not that I think their confidence is misplace. I’m just always interested on the data the campaigns use to back up their big claims.) But, sigh, I didn’t get called on. Maybe it had something to do with the funny name of this publication, which sometimes spooks people… (Keep that guy from The Stranger, whatever that is, on mute!)

Or maybe it had something to do with the last question, in which a man from KOMO radio asked about Obama’s plans to announce his VP pick via text message and email. Specifically, the KOMO radio reporter wondered whether this would alienate older voters.

Which is, actually, a very interesting question. Obama has trouble with older voters. Older voters have trouble with the Internets and such. Does Obama need to be so careful with the old folks that he can’t speak to the young folks in the high-tech ways they like to be spoken to?

Patrick Gaspard did a heroic job of completely dodging the meat of the question, saying only that the campaign would be communicating its pick by traditional and non-traditional methods. And then the call ended.

Maybe next time…

RSS icon Comments


If old people want to find out right away who the VP pick is, they can learn to use modern technology. Unless the Obama campaign decides to completely supplant a press release with personal electronic notification, that question was a waste of breath.

But then again, radio really has devolved into the most grating of mass media, so maybe this level of insipidity is to be expected.

Posted by dbell | August 11, 2008 12:39 PM

Mainstream media has to ask about who will be alienated by a candidates policies and practices - if they can't create conflict, they don't have a story. "Will hearing-impaired people be offended by your use of audiophonic technology to announce your VP?"

Posted by Ziggity | August 11, 2008 12:55 PM

Just because McCain is more comfortable with the telegraph doesn't mean that Obama should be limited to 19th century technology, too.

Posted by Mike in Olympia | August 11, 2008 12:58 PM

The whole text/e-mail thing is a gimmick anyway, designed to collect e-mail addresses. Anyone watching CNN (or listening to news radio, for that matter) will get the news long before that e-mail (or text message) gets through the servers and reaches x million people.

Posted by rjh | August 11, 2008 1:27 PM

Excuse me?

Everyone knows you tell people about your VP pick by a relationship change or status update on Facebook or MySpace.

Texting is so last century.

Next thing you'll tell us is he'll change his "r-i-n-g-t-o-n-e" to be a song of praise for the VP chosen ... [had to change this due to your filters, Stranger ...]

(meanwhile, McCain is still shopping for tubes in Alaska, and will use semaphore flags to indicate his choice for really-old-white-guy VP nod)

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 11, 2008 1:29 PM

Well, McCain's promised to mail me a punch-card with his nominee on it, so there!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | August 11, 2008 1:40 PM

We won't support spine-less NO-Bama and will re-defeat him in November. Go Hillary 2012!!!

Posted by clintonsarmy | August 11, 2008 1:55 PM

We NO support Hillary November go him less defeat re-2012 spine won't Bama???

Posted by clintonsarmy | August 11, 2008 2:17 PM

We the people, in order to support a greener leafy nation, will totally not use this for non-medical purposes, and will paint our rebel flags on the tops of our gas-guzzling corvettes.

Yee ha!

Posted by clintononsideofbus | August 11, 2008 2:28 PM

Since the mainstream media will report Obama's VP pick about seven seconds after anyone gets it by e-mail or text, people who aren't internet-savvy will get it from CNN and Fox without any appreciable delay.

I mean, does anyone even imagine that the news media didn't immediately sign up for the e-mail/text alerts? Any and all reporters following the Obama campaign will have done so right away.

Posted by Kurt Busiek | August 11, 2008 4:27 PM

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