Politics & Media
Aug 27, 2008, 06:35AM

Barack, It's Late, and I Don't Want To Hook Up

Barack Obama was supposed to show off his youth and technology credentials by announcing his Vice-President pick over text message. But then many young voters were woken up at 3 a.m. East Coast time last Friday by the buzzing of their cells. Does the Obama campaign really want to start drunk dialing their supporters?

When Barack Obama decided to declare his vice president selection through text message, laced with all the subtlety that the medium affords, the intent was clear: involve the younger generation.

Ideally, the gesture would convey all the connectivity inherent in mobile culture and Obama's campaign while harvesting millions of cell phone numbers for future alerts.

If we lived in world where CNN wasn't lurking in the bushes outside all the potential running mates' homes, the text message might have actually been the way to truly "be the first to know." But we do live in that world, so after rolling around in their own willful naivete, the Obama camp sent out the fateful text message announcing Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate at 3 a.m. ET -- two hours after most major news outlets had reported Biden had been selected and about five hours before anyone wakes up on a Saturday morning.

But the young people are awake at that hour! No, they aren't. Everyone that received the text under the age of 25 was either asleep or way too drunk to read it. And if you're forcing a college student to get out of bed on a Friday night to see who's texting them, your strategy has probably failed.


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