[Guest post by DRJ]
The Obama campaign was critical of McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin — she’s too inexperienced and not ready to be a “heartbeat away” from the Presidency — followed quickly by Obama’s statement that his staff was too critical. This clearly isn’t what the Obama campaign thought they would be talking about the day after his acceptance speech.
And now the New York Times’ Caucus blog has this amazing information on why the Obama campaign had a mixed message:
“11:40 a.m. | Obama Reaction: The Times’s Jeff Zeleny has the following dispatch:
The Obama campaign had no immediate response to reports that Senator John McCain has selected the little-known Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, as his running-mate. Neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Biden talked to reporters, but Mr. Biden could be seen wearing a wide smile in the front cabin of the plane.
Ms. Palin came as a surprise not only to many Republicans and journalists, but also to the Obama team. The campaign has been busily preparing TV commercials to run against Mitt Romney — with aides gleefully watching hours of footage of Romney-McCain exchanges from the primary — but far little opposition research had been prepared about the Alaska governor. And aides said no commercials were ready to be immediately released, which the McCain campaign did when Mr. Biden was chosen.”
There’s more at the link, including that the Obama campaign had to delay its campaign flight for more Palin prep and, as a result, McCain-Palin got a half-day of uninterrupted media time.
The Obama campaign was not prepared for the Palin announcement, a choice that was unexpected but not totally off the radar. That’s not good in politics but it’s very discouraging in governing. In fact, it makes the Obama campaign sound as clueless as it often describes the Bush Administration.