Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Huge Blunder May Cause Problems for Obama Campaign

A group of us here at the Kansas Citian were discussing our plans for watching Thursday's big keynote by Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama when something occurred to us that apparently hasn't occurred to the organizers or the media yet.

This new blunder comes on the heels of several other recent missteps by the campaign. First there was the delayed response to attacks on Obama for his association with Rev. Wright. Then the campaign rolled out their own presidential seal, perhaps jumping the gun just a bit. There was the faux Nazi salute his supporters put together, which has thankfully been absent at the convention. Most recently, there was the failed announcement of Obama's VP pick, Joe Biden, which came too late in the news cycle and was leaked before his own supporters could be informed by the campaign's much publicized text message announcement. As a result, the Obama campaign failed to receive the bounce in the polls that commonly follows such a major announcement.

This new blunder, however, may be the most costly of all. You see, while Barack Obama will be standing backstage waiting to walk out onto his makeshift White House stage before 70,000 plus fans, the rest of America will be tuned into their local CBS or FOX affiliate watching their city's NFL team's final preseason game.

That's right. On Thursday, 80,000 Kansas Citians will just be leaving Arrowhead stadium when Barack takes the stage. Not only is Kansas City located in the key battleground state of Missouri, but the KC Chiefs will be taking on their cross state rivals from St. Louis in the annual governor's cup. That means, the two biggest cities will have their attention on football and not politics.

But that's not where the campaigns problems end. Since it is the final week of preseason NFL football, the league has scheduled 26 of its 32 teams to compete on Thursday night. For those of you counting, that's about 2,080,000 fans that will be attending the games and millions more watching at home and at their corner sports bars.

While it is true that several of the games are scheduled to start at 6:00 pm CST and the typical game lasts three hours, most games run long and it will be virtually impossible for fans to make it home in time to see the speech. In addition, the usually pre-, during, and post-game partying are sure to affect fans' abilities to watch and comprehend Obama's speech. Six of the team's won't even see their games begin until 7:00 pm CST which means they'll still be going when Barack Obama concludes his speech and the convention. The full schedule can be viewed here.

The decision to hold the Democrat National Convention this week was ill conceived. Here are just a few of the key battleground states that will have their eyes on the ball and not on the Barack: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, Louisiana, and Texas.

With the Republican Nation Convention beginning just three days later, in all likelihood the Obama campaign has squandered their biggest opportunity to get the attention of undecided voters.


Chimpo said...

You missed the actual story here. Honestly, do you think someone who is lame enough to attend a team's fourth preseason game was going to watch the convention anyways? The starters play a series at best.

More importantly, for real sports fans, the NCAA starts playing actual games on Thursday night. I believe there are four games on the schedule. Still...there is this thing called DVR/TiVo. To call this a blunder is an absolute reach.

Hoopstar said...

Chimpo has a couple good points. I would argue that KC and St. Louis are the 2 cities that don't need to see it. These 2 areas are always in the blue.

Doc said...

People who root for overpriced, poorly performing NFL teams tend to be republicans: no loss at all.

James said...

You're all making our point for us.

Just because you don't watch sports doesn't mean millions of undecided voters don’t. The NFL is the highest rated sport on TV.

Yes, preseason is not watched as much as regular season, but millions upon millions of voters will be watching it over the speech. If the sole goal of the convention was to give a speech to the people already supporting Obama, well then what's the point of having it at all?

The convention is the biggest chance the nominee has to speak directly to the undecideds and his/her best chance to gain new supporters.

Will the scheduling conflict kills his campaign? Of course not. But will it dampen any bounce in the polls he hopes to ride into the debates? Yes, it definitely will. I believe the campaign now knows it and that's exactly why they have been fighting with the NFL to try and get them to reschedule the games. If the DNC had paid more attention, they would have had the convention a week sooner or a week later.

To say the cities of STL and KC are blue overlooks the fact that most of the state is red and are chiefs or rams fans. Not to mention that the Chiefs and Rams are a regional draws with millions fans in Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, etc.

The conventions finales are about undecideds. Day 1 through 3 are about getting the party excited. Blowing day 4, with McCain going to announce his VP on Friday, a 3 day weekend, and the RNC right after, the bounce Obama is hoping for is not going to happen or at the very least will be substantially diminished.

The headlines two weeks from now will be why is Obama trailing by 5 to 10 points.

No matter how severe you believe the scheduling mistake to be, there is no doubt it will have a negative effect and that it is just another mistake in a long line of rookie campaign mistakes by Obama.

Ed said...

Chimp: why Tivo a speech when you can see the higlights on the news? And vice versa: why Tivo a game when you can see the highlights about 10 minutes after the highlights of the speech?

All in all, I think the games will take away from Obama's speech at his temple. It may not be huge, but it would be enough to see Drudge note the TV ratings loss.

Doc: only repubs watch the chiefs or rams?? Um... quit smoking that stuff. It'll kill ya.

James said...

Oh, just in case you were wondering. Last year's week 4 preseason primetime games rated 4th highest for the week according to Nielsen. It was only bested by America's Got Talent, CSI, Without a Trace, and Two and a Half Men.

Doc said...

My point about people who watch poorly performing, overpriced NFL teams was that they did so without thinking about it.

That is, it's what they have always done and will always continue to do.

You know, like voting against their own interests...

If the trampling of the bill of Rights, undeclare, illegal wars and the trashing of the economy doesn't motivate them to change their thinking, certainly one speech, more or less, is not going to do the trick.

Especially if it coincides with football.

Ed - point taken.
But, really, what's 2 or 3 spliffs a day?

; ' )

Anonymous said...

Unless there is a viable 3rd party guy like Perot, democrats and republicans can take it to the bank they are going to get their 45% of the vote without effort. The remaining 10% that decide the election are the uninformed who don't follow politics, and who will probably be watching football. These are the ones whose opinions can be most easily be swayed.

Think of it this way, what is considered better ratings for a tv show, a show that has the overall highest ratings for the time slot, but lags in younger viewer, or the show that has the highest ratings in the slot for 18-34 year olds, regardless of its overall placing?

Undecided voters in this analogy are the 18-34 tv viewer. This is the demographic advertisers want. So even if Obama's speech is witnessed by tens of millions, it won't be effective unless it is witnessed by the target demographic, namely the 10% of the electorate whose attention is easily distracted by pedestrian endeavors such as the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Also, isn't Thursday the first night of the weekend? Many people start to go out on Thursday.

Why didn't they have this thing on a Tuesday or Wednesday? What is the point of dragging it on and on? People are not going to vote for Obama because some wooden governor tells you to. They want to see Obama. Why put it off for 4 days?

derek said...

Doc, could you elaborate on people voting against their own interests?

James said...

Ed makes a good point. People don't really like to Tivo sports because they could hear the results before they watch it. And who on Earth would Tivo a convention?

James said...

Ed makes a good point. People don't really like to Tivo sports because they could hear the results before they watch it. And who on Earth would Tivo a convention?

Doc said...

Derek -


(sorry - work got in the way for a while there.)

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"

Bush/Cheney have causaully violated that early on in their first term: the privacy you normally enjoy in your mail, phone and Internet communications were declared null and void in an effort to win 'the war on terrorism. And this was not done legally, much less transparanetly - it was an executive office end run around their own Justice Department: every court in the land where this issue has arisen had uninaimously ruled against the White House. It was only after this outing that the Congress caved and retroactively covered Bush's ass and codified your lack of rights via the patriot act;

Bush has also shown an outright hostility toward freedom of speech: he has applied and maintained draconian restrictions on the press in Iraq, even forbidding the photography of flag-draped caskets returning home;

Bush’s policies have assaulted freedom of assembly, most notably creating free speech zones and keeping war protesters away when Bush appears on camera;

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. "

...i'm thinking here that Madison probably MEANT to add "...unless George Bush decides the accused is an 'enemy combatant'. or...a 'democrat'. or...

I could go on and on. And all of this occured in Bush's first term.
Please, tell me how it was in ANY American's self interest to return this benighted soul to the White House.

"I'm the commander, see. I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation." Bush to Bob Woodward

James said...

doc, wasn't it the democrats that just passed FISA? And wasn't it Clinton that put project Echelon in place?

What about rendition? Wasn't that another Clinton policy?

Sounds like you buy into the Democrat's do as we say, not as we do rhetoric.

James said...

doc, one more thing.

"During the 1988 Democratic National Convention, the city of Atlanta set up an official "free speech area"[5] so the convention would not be disrupted. A pro-choice demonstrator against an Operation Rescue group said Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young "put us in a free-speech cage."[6] "Protest zones" were used during the 1992 and 1996 United States presidential nominating conventions[7]"

Funny how you are quick to blame Bush for all these Democrat policies and initiatives...

Doc said...


Short answers:

Yes, Clinton put the FISA court in place. The Court's job is too oversee exactly the kind of requests that the Bush White House did not feel it had to bother with;

Yes, ECHELON, as well as the first baby attempts at TIA, were started under the Clinton Administration. And halted when the press exposed them. Gen. Poindextor (past CIA) resigned. Bush brought him back on board to - again without transparancy - reboot those efforts;

Rendition; yes, to a very limited degree that hatched in the Clinton years: it wasn't right then, either;

Frankly, I'm not sure you're not undercutting your own accusations with the speech zone thing; the URI you cited - - leads directly to this PDF, which is a report on the curtailing of rights in America post 9/11.

"Funny how you are quick to blame Bush for all these Democrat policies and initiatives..."

Actually, I was just staying on topic: I was asked a question and answered it.

To that end, I would note that what you posted (while, incidentally, perhaps being worth a longer conversation in its own right regarding the historic abuse of The Bill of Rights by past Presidents [both Johnson and Nixon come immediately to mind]) does not obviate the validity of my response to Derek.

James said...

doc, I think you misunderstood.

When I mentioned the FISA bill the democrats passed, I wasn't referring to the bill that created the FISA court (which, btw, greatly reduced the purden of proof on the state to garner a search warrant) but on the one they passed just a few weeks ago. You know, the one that legalize warrantless wiretaps, the one that gave immunity to AT&T and Verizon who have been complacent with the federal governments illegal taps beginning under the Clinton administration.

It's funny, how when I pointed out to you that Democrats invented free speech zones in 88 and continued their use in 92, 96, 00, etc. You ignored that and focused on the current administrations use after 9/11.

Your placement of blame on Bush for all of these issues: wiretaps, rendition, free speech zones, etc. just shows how blind you are to the truth.

I know democrats tend to do that, that's how their party has managed to convince the world they were responsible for civil rights, when in reality the only thing democrats did for civil rights was welfare, which arguably destroyed the black family structure, and planned parenthood, which was created as a eugenics experiement.

While it is true that the current federal government has trampled all over the rights of the people, the policies that enabled that and the precedence set were all done by Democrats.

There are no longer two party's, can't you see that? To be blindly democrat or republican ignores the reality of what is happening.

Doc said...


My mistake. I started what I thought was a dialogue in responding directly to Derek's question, and then offering a defense of your (though tangetal) responses.

Your latest post also edlides any answer to my original posit: why would anyone vote against their own self interest in order to return an individual to office who had done nothing for them?

Instead, it is simply a post hoc fallacy directed against an argument never broached: your useage and assumptions based on political parties where none were mentioned give lie to your 'arguments'.

Thanks for the willingness to allow me to post, but it's not my first pony ride so I'll say goodbye here.


Anonymous said...

Like most libs, you shine the light of truth and they scurry off back into the darkness.

Chimpo said...

Blah blah blah. I watch sports, I'm not saying other people don't. I missed all of last night, so I DVR'd that shit and will flip through the highlights this evening.

Shitty preseason games tonight are not going to pull from the DNC viewer pool. Anybody actually watching the game will surely flip over by the time Obama is on because the game will be utter crap at that point. The actual season NCAA football games being played will be a bigger draw and what I'll be watching between speeches.

Now let's talk about McCain giving his speech next Thursday, Sept 4. Sept 4 being the official start of the NFL season. It doesn't really matter who is playing, because that will be pulling way more TV viewers than all of the preseason games.

As for preseason football getting awesome ratings, have you seen what is on TV at this point in the year. You could run a loop of CakeFarts on a channel and it would be the sixth highest program right now.