With radio stations and TV networks promising to break in as soon as the text message is delivered, the media is in a veritable Obama VP text message frenzy.
I've been around politics for most my life: with political junkie parents, I was subjected to the weekend political TV shows as far back as I can remember and politics was one of the main topics of conversation at the dinner table. I've worked in Illinois state politics and have worked for a couple of campaigns. But I've never seen this level of media hype over the revelation of a VP nominee.
It kind of reminds me of the hype that always surrounds the announcement of the winner of American Idol.
In fact, I can only think of one other pending announcement from a notable person that attracted this level of media hype/buzz. And that was way back on March 18, 1995, when Michael Jordan, after weeks of having teased the media with hints of an NBA comeback, announced the end of his first retirement and his subsequent return to the NBA's Chicago Bulls by sending out a two word fax -- it simply read, "I'm back."
The merits of the Obama campaign's decision to announce his VP nominee via a mass text can certainly be debated. Some may see it as evidence that Barack Obama is young, dynamic and on the precipice of changing cultural trends. By that logic, Obama's attempt to make the announcement of his VP nominee viral can probably seen as a master stroke by a change agent who has connected with and inspired the millennial generation like no other politician has.
But the VP announcement by mass text could just as easily be seen as a shallow attempt to play up his image as hip/cool guy, and reinforce the Obama campaign's narrative that John McCain (Mr. Obama's opponent) is old, tired and out of touch (see here, and here and here).
One thing's for sure: this is going to be a very expensive text message.
So, readers may be wondering why Drive and Dish, a basketball website that occasionally covers other sports, would concern itself with the news of the day in politics.
The answer is because the Obama VP mania has been so over the top (and will become even more so after the Senator's running mate is actually announced) that the Drive and Dish editorial board has deemed it deserving of mention ... and a prediction.
So what's Drive and Dish's prediction about the Obama running mate announcement text?
Well, since the Obama campaign has waited until Friday (the end of the week's news cycle) to announce Sen. Obama's choice for VP nominee, and bearing in mind the fact that ABC news' George Stephanopoulos has said that an Obama campaign insider informed him of the campaign's desire to maximize buzz over the text by sending it out at a time when the greatest number of people will be by their phones, I predict that the Obama campaign will keep everybody waiting all day before sending out the much anticipated/hyped text.
The media will have to wait the entire day with baited breath.
And then it will happen ... the much awaited text will be sent out sometime around midnight Central time, when the target audience for the text -- Sen. Obama's legion of affluent, twentysomething supporters -- will be in bars, in clubs and at parties.
I don't know who Sen. Obama will announce as his VP nominee (although if pressed, I'd say it will most likely be a Southern white male -- Democratic strategists are quick to acknowledge that no Democrat has won the white house without a Southern white male on the ticket since Harry Truman [and even then, an argument can be made that Truman -- a Missouri native -- was sort of a Southerner]), but I do know that, considering the fact that, as a group, young women overwhelmingly support Sen. Obama's bid for the Presidency, any guy who receives an after midnight text from Barack Obama while out bar-hopping will have a major leg up on the competition.
By sending his text message, Sen. Obama will essentially serve as a virtual wingman for thousands of guys across America tonight. Make no mistake: Sen. Obama is going to get lots of guys laid.
And don't think the Obama campaign isn't aware of that.
"Slow Joe" Biden?
Did Barack Obama really chose as his Vice Presidential nominee the most arrogant, verbose, self important, plagiarising, tone deaf (more here), gaffetastic (more here), foot-in-mouth prone and easily lampoonable windbag (more here, here and here) in the Senate (with apologies to former Ku Klux Klan member turned United States Senator, Robert Byrd -- more here, here, and here)?
I'm really surprised.
Biden represents everything that people don't like about the Beltway. He's the ultimate self aggrandizing political hack.
Even among the most die-hard of Democrats, Biden has long been regarded as a buffoon and a laughingstock (note the less than flattering comments that I linked from the Daily Kos above).
If Biden really is Sen. Obama's choice, Drive and Dish will almost certainly be dishing out more political commentary in the near future (and that's a shame -- we really like to stick to basketball/sports).
Robert Stacy McCain (no relation to John McCain) reacts to Sen. Obama's announcement:
"To jerk around the national press for a full week, only to deliver Joe Biden -- this is a disappointment. Imagine the reactions of those poor saps getting their text messages: 'WTF? Dude. Joe Biden?'"
I generally agree with the above sentiment, except that I'm not sure whether most of the people who received Sen. Obama's text actually know who Joe Biden is.
Update (Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008):
Yesterday, I took note of the almost ridiculous the media feeding frenzy over the pending Barack Obama VP nominee selection text. Today, 23/6 has a brilliant short montage of yesterday's CNN coverage of the Obamania waiting game (or as CNN dubbed their own coverage, "Obama VP Drama").
For the benefit of people who land on Drive and Dish via political blogs, Drive and Dish does not officially side with any political party or political ideology. We're a basketball/sports blog. We don't normally do politics.
My characterizations of Sen. Biden are not based on any opposition that I may or may not have to Biden's positions on political issues. Drive and Dish does not take sides in political arguments.
My characterization of Sen. Biden as an arrogant windbag is based solely on my opinion that, after years of having observed Sen. Biden in action, Sen. Biden is an arrogant windbag. But that's completely separate and unrelated to any opinions that I may hold with regard to his political positions or party affiliation.
Whether or not I agree with Sen. Biden on political issues has little, if anything, to do with the fact that I think he's a complete asshat whose flaws and shortcomings obscure his strengths.
Drive and Dish is a blog that writes primarily about basketball. We hold the opinion that sports, and sports coverage, should not be politicized. Politics is a vital facet of life in our republican democracy and every citizen has a responsibility to make sure that he/she has a reasonable understanding of the principles, traditions and documents on which our government is based, the mechanics by which our government operates, and of the issues of the day. And while it's often said that politics is itself a sport, Drive and Dish remains steadfast in the belief that politics doesn't belong in sports (or in entertainment, for that matter).
Simply, sports are fun. Politics ... not so much.
But Sen. Biden's long history of overt douchebaggery transcends politics. He's lampoonable because he's an undeniable buffoon and an absolute living parody of the archetypal windbag United States Senator ... independent of his politics and party affiliation (archetypal windbag Senators populate both sides of the aisle).