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.