Monday, August 25, 2008

The 3am Text Message

The McCain campaign has been hitting hard at Obama as being a celebrity. Obama is playing into this.

Consider the way that the vice-presidential pick was handled. Supporters could register to be sent a text message to their phones so that they would know first who the pick would be. This was probably more of a way to get millions of supporters' phone numbers than anything else. It also failed more than one way. It was sent at 3am EDT when most people were asleep. If they set their clock alarm they would hear the choice on the radio before checking their phone. Not everyone got the message. Worst, the news media had the choice two hours before the text message went out. And then there is the fact that Biden was the front-runner since June so there was no actual drama to the announcement.

But let's put this aside for a minute and concentrate on the idea of signing up to be the first to know the pick. Is this something that presidential candidates actually do? I know that it is a brave new world and technology has improved since the last election so some options didn't even exist in 2004.

Still, the idea of signing up to get special texts from your candidate seems like something that Oprah would do.

People who care about getting the news first can normally sign up for news alerts to be texted to them anyway. You might get the message a few minutes later but the election is still months away. So what's the point of signing up?

It is to feel like the candidate has personally touched you. It's part of a cult of personality.

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