Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's 3:00 AM, and your children are safe and asleep...

...but there's a cell phone in the other room, and it's ringing. Must be one of your a**hole friends drunk-dialing you, or perhaps a wrong number from a different time zone. Wait, no: it's Barack Obama! He wants you to "be the first to know" something that CNN and the AP reported three hours ago: Joe Biden is his runningmate!

I got my text at 3:28 AM. It didn't wake me up, because I put my phone on "silent" at night. But it woke some people up, and many were -- predictably -- at least mildly annoyed.

I mean, really: 3:28 AM???

I assume Obama & co. pushed the message out sooner than planned because the news had leaked. But that "leak" was, as I suggested at the time, almost inevitable from the moment they decided to wait till morning, even after Bayh and Kaine had been ruled out and activity at the Biden house had increased. There was simply no way the media was going to sit on its hands until 11:00 AM or whatever.

The Obama camp did an amazing job of keeping this secret all week, and especially all day yesterday, but they got greedy. They were never going to be able to keep it secret right up until a few hours before the rally. If they really wanted their supporters to "be the first to know," they needed to send the text yesterday evening during prime time, at the latest.

Instead, they waited too long, then panicked, and annoyed a bunch of supporters (and news/political junkies) in the process. Idiots.

UPDATE: Lugosi is more than "mildly" annoyed:

Barack Obama has chosen Delaware Senator Joe Biden to be his running mate, and it just cost the Democrats my vote.

No, it's not that I have anything against Biden. My complaint is that I had signed up to get a text message the moment Obama made his choice public. And when did he decide to do this? At 3 goddamn 21 in the freakin' morning on a Saturday!?!?!?

If you decide to wake me up at such an ungodly hour, the building had damn well better be on fire, or there better be a new shot of Britney's snatch available online. That's about it.

One thing you do NOT do, however, is wake me up before sunrise just to tell me the name of your vice presidential pick. At 3:21 A.M. I simply don't give a crap about the future of our nation, or the Iraq war, or the federal deficit, or how many goddamn houses McCain owns. All I care about at 3:21 is sleeping. If you forget that, you can rest assured there WILL be consequences.

Citizen Bloomington is similarly unimpressed:

Someone should be fired. Seriously. The Obama campaign has been gifted with all this media attention over the past week about his pick. It’s talked about everywhere. And for the first time in history, people are waiting on text messages to get the announcement. We’re hovering over our phones, waiting for that nectar of press release.

So, the natural thing to do?

Send the damn thing while most of America is sleeping! Of course: send it at 3:47AM (by my phone’s time) so people either miss it and feel left out of the glee of hearing the news, or wake up and get pissed they weren’t part of the shared experience. In my case it’s both. I woke up when it came in, and ignored the message. It’s not like my life depended on this or anything, but I’m just amazed at how stupid its timing was, given the opportunity. They don’t get to capitalize on the online posting rush. Instead, I’m sitting here typing how badly they screwed up.

Patrick Ruffini calls it an "Epic Text Message Fail."

On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal says it succeeded in one thing, at least: it's netted Obama three million cell phone numbers for his database.

P.P.S. Cajun Boy suggests a funny McCain ad.