Las Vegas Sun

November 25, 2014

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Obama playing the press negativity with VP timing

Sun Expanded Coverage

(The Sun has gone on the road to listen to voters and talk to political leaders around the West. Reporters will examine the economic, cultural and demographic forces re-shaping the region as they drive to Denver for the first of the two major party conventions the Sun will cover.)

Announcing Biden in the middle of the night going into a Saturday seemed strange -- note my post Thursday about how people consume less media on Saturday than any other day of the week.

But there's a reason I'm not a political consultant. I wouldn't be a very good one, obviously.

Check out Ben Smith's analysis:

"One reason for a relatively late rollout, as I mentioned yesterday, is that there's simply no honeymoon in the current media cycle. What used to be considered second-day coverage popped the moment Biden was announced -- revisiting Biden's weaknesses, exploring the oppo, wondering about Obama's timing -- as did the McCain ad, above, taking Biden's harshest words about Obama's readiness and his kindest about McCain.

I'm not sure this was deliberate, but a lot of the instant negatives are now burning themselves out late Friday night and early Saturday morning -- when few people are consuming media."

In an odd way, Obama's team knew the withering press would come no matter who he picked (unless it was someone totally out of the blue, like a Republican, though that offered its own longer term problem of losing his base.) So why not let the pack have their fun with their insta-"tough" analysis. And then the pack punches itself out early Saturday, and then is forced to cover the rosy glow of the two of them together at the Illinois event.

Am I resentful they treat the press this way? Not really. You get what you deserve. Think of how useful it may have been to examine a policy issue in detail and the differences between the candidates on it, or if you prefer, go to a battleground state and do some on the ground reporting. Instead, they all wagged their tails at the VP choice all week and then got all excited because they were three minutes ahead of the competition on the story.

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