Friday, August 22, 2008

Thwarted Research...

I guess if I was a reporter I might have had success. As it was, neither the Obama or McCain campaign would return my calls or e-mails. Eventually, I did get a personalized response, which was NO.

See, I had a great idea - the editor at American Libraries magazine, where I’ve had luck writing a few articles (two here, and one forthcoming - full text should be available there soon) in the past - liked it: who does research and confirms facts on presidential campaigns? I haven NEVER read anything about that and a literature search turned up nothing.

The impetus for the article was a scene from “The War Room”, the documentary about the 1992 campaign of Bill Clinton. Bush Sr.’s speech accepting the republican re-nomination is on the TV at the Arkansas campaign HQ and James Carville asks a staffer “Liz, I want to know if I can say this is the first time an incumbent president has given an acceptance speech and not mentioned his economic record.”

Great question! Who is Liz? Was it answered? Is that answer yes?

Anyway, I e-mailed Carville’s people, tracked down who “Liz” is and what she’s doing know, and called and e-mailed both the Obama and McCain campaigns. I also researched the question about that speech and, yes, that was probably more or less true, except that for most of American history, nominees didn’t even attend the conventions - as late as 1932 Hoover was notified of his re-nomination by telegraph and accepted it in kind. So it would have taken too many qualifications for that fact to make a decent soundbite.

Anyway, the Obama campaign is notorious about not being helpful with media requests unless you’re with some huge, mainstream outlet. Even after I heard that Blender Magazine ran a article with the two candidates top ten favorite songs:

White House DJ Battle (Blender Magazine)

and I got all haughty in a new round of e-mails (“someone on the campaign talked Blender Magazine about the Senator’s taste in music, but you’re blowing off the 100,000 readers of American Libraries magazine???”), still nothing. I just wanted to talk to some low-level flunky who did this sort of grunt work.

So I had to make this blog to have a place to vent. Hahahaha....

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