The long-awaited text message announcing Obama-Biden '08 arrived in cell phones and inboxes just after 3 a.m. ET on Saturday. The 3 a.m. timing may evoke memories of an attack ad run by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., questioning whether Obama would be ready to lead in the event of a 3 a.m. phone call.
In the end however, Obama supporters got a 3 a.m. cell phone text message and e-mail about Biden, rather than Clinton.
3 a.m. Were they trying to be cute?
If the time was selected deliberately, it would seem so. The excuse that the campaign wanted the message to go out after newspaper publishing deadlines so the Saturday headlines wouldn't be about the Biden pick is telling, too--they obviously wanted to dominate Sunday paper coverage instead of the leading the news the one day of the week when many Americans don't see the paper.
But newspaper deadlines aside, there's no doubt that this was targeted at Hillary's infamous "3 a.m." ad suggesting that Barack Obama was too inexperienced to be the person answering the White House phone at 3 a.m. when some crisis or emergency calls thepresident out of bed in the middle of the night. Barack Obama won't just be answering calls at 3 a.m., this time frame choice for the veep announcement suggests.
And there's confirmation in the ABC post of my theory as to who the Obama campaign is targeting in all of this:
Asked how they kept Obama's vp pick a secret for almost a week and why they announced Obama's V.P. pick in the dead of night, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs told "Good Morning America Weekend Edition" co-anchor Kate Snow, "We weren't trying to hide anything. We're pretty good at keeping secrets. ... I have a feeling that most of the people who normally text were probably up and got it." (Emphasis added, EM.)
See? The old geezers, the tragically unhip technophobes, the poor who don't rountinely text each other because they don't have cell phones or text devices or wireless service--they weren't the ones this message was being aimed at. It was the young cool Friday-night-partygoing set who were still partying hard at 3 a.m. that Obama wanted to reach, the foot soldiers in his own personal cultural revolution.
There's just one thing Barack Obama is forgetting. People who party hard all weekend are inclined to spend much of Monday and Tuesday in a fog--and last I checked, national elections weren't held on Friday nights. The old geezers, tragically unhip technophobes, poor, and others who didn't find this stunt amusing--they'll be the ones at the voting booths, bright and early on a crisp morning in November.
UPDATE: Commenter "Mick" says below, "So that was the motivation for 3 a.m.! I just assumed he wanted to get the message out to his European friends, bright and early."
That's really good thinking! Mr. "Citizen of the World" didn't want to be American-centric in terms of time zones!!