Commentary

Text "FAIL" to 62262

Never has the announcement of a major political party’s Vice Presidential candidate been so highly anticipated; or gone so terribly wrong.

For weeks leading up to the Democratic National Convention and the announcement of Barack Obama’s running mate, Obama’s political team touted an innovative step they were taking in the political campaign process: a text message alert system that would make the recipients the first to know of Obama’s choice for Vice President.

For me it was a dream come true. Finally a politician was targeting the 18-24 age group in a medium that would actually reach us on our own playing field. There would be no channel surfing, searching for CNN or MSNBC or C-SPAN, no shuffling of newspapers that come up with news a day behind, and no rushing to a computer to find a politico blog I could actually understand to find out the highly anticipated news. Rather, I would have the information instantaneously zapped to my fingertips at the moment the news was dropped.

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Even though I was only one person out of 3 million people to sign up for this service, I felt like a Democratic insider awaiting confidential information to pass before my eyes. I didn’t care how many people got the message alongside me, I was too caught up in the hype.

On Friday night as I laid in my bed watching some of the last competitions of the Beijing Olympics, a newsflash interrupted the men’s water polo competition to announce breaking news that Senator Obama had offered the #2 spot to Joe Biden.

WHAT!?

At that point I was frantic. I hopped out of bed, grabbed my iPod and quickly Googled “Barack Obama VP” only to find dozens of sites confirming the news I had heard.

I WAS DUPED!

No disrespect to the Obama camp, but I CAN’T BELIEVE they let something like this happen! They set themselves up for one of the coolest revelations in modern politics and instead the text message alert system fizzled out faster than Diet Coke and Mentos.

Not to be made into liars, the Obama campaign finally released the now infamous text message a whopping four hours after the fact. Now not only was I let down by the fact that I was not a part of the “first to know,” but I was also really annoyed to be awakened by a text message containing information that was by that time old news.

As great of a stunt it was in theory, the Obama VP text message proved to be too enormous of a feat to accomplish. Even without the media leaks, there probably would have been some difficulties in disseminating 3 million texts simultaneously. (After all, even the iPhone in all it’s glory doesn’t have that kind of capabilities.)

Old Age Media: 1; Modern Advancements: 0.

Perhaps Obama will have the opportunity to text us with his nomination for Supreme Court Justice to make it up for this blunder. I would accept that apology.

1 comment about "Text "FAIL" to 62262".
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  1. Michael Nevins from Smart, September 8, 2008 at 9:49 a.m.

    2.9 million opt-ins for a political campaign...Hmmmm... Could have delivered a bit better on the value exchange (exclusivity, early info), but that's 2.9 MILLION OPT IN PHONE NUMBERS FOR A MOBILE CAMPAIGN!!!!!! Failure????

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