Obama Spoils the SMS Surprise and Still Hits a Triple

I’m still waiting for my text message.

As the world now knows - courtesy of the CNNbrk Twitter feed, and now countless channels elsewhere - the junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, has chosen the veteran legislator from Delaware, Joe Biden, to accompany him on the ticket for the final months of the 2008 U.S. presidential election campaign. Speculation was palpable in the latter half of the week, Friday especially, but the guesswork has since been officially validated. And all it seemed to take was some well-financed, Big Media-driven investigative savvy.

I must say I’m not surprised that the cart came before the horse on this one. As if the Obama for America campaign could really keep it shut all the way to Saturday morning, when it planned to distribute via mass SMS and email the senator’s pick for VP. Logic doth prove such an experiment’s success unlikely, if not impossible. If you do a good amount of pestering and sort of a Sudoku-esque cancellation of the no-goes, eventually you’ll get something. Indeed, if you happen to be an outfit such as CNN, well, doors tend to open, willingly or unwillingly.

That being said, the promotional push being attempted was a smart one. The guy gets press for putting the people first, he gets said people to commit their digits, the giftwrap gets torn prematurely, and everyone’s abuzz. Voilà. The man knows how to market himself.

It really is interesting to see how technology has pervaded the political scene the last year or so. Far more than 2004 and 2000, for sure. At those moments, online interaction was brewing, but it was not booming. The most highlighted stories to come out of recent elections past were the funding efforts taking place on the Web. Now there’s thunder. Now there are the social networking and social media components that have taken stride in ways that seem increasingly critical to the candidates’ success - Barack Obama’s especially.

His campaign’s drive to lower the bar for access to information has gripped millions of people around the country. The most current example is of course the grand text-email login. He convinced a vast swath of the population to offer their cellular connections to his promotional engine, and it’s doubtful that he will do nothing but prosper further from it.

Yes, grumblings about deflated followers will naturally be amplified over the weekend and could even loiter around a bit longer. The bandwagon, after all, which was en route to what they thought would be a special celebration via their inboxes, was prematurely shown billboards screaming a secret they’d wished to know before the press could deliver its affirmative fill. Alas, the spell was broken, and quite a few folk will let that be known in the coming hours - including myself and Mashable’s commander in chief.

But soon enough Denver will be ablaze with talk of hope, unity, strength, and messianic worship of the Washingtonian kind, and the “botched” mobile messaging play will be a boo-boo on the heal. All in all, this whole spectacle makes for yet one more hefty bump for Obama. He gets press for thinking of you, lucky you; breaks your heart a bit; presumably does his rockstar thing in front of 80,000 or so disciples (with some opposing apples littered amongst the many); and continues on as he has done since June, likely none the worse for forgetting to send you 160 characters before letting slip to those gorgeous news people over there.

Technology is fantastic, is it not? No one can argue with that. Especially when it is used effectively. Funnily enough, Obama didn’t have to make good on that front to make his latest splash. What’s the saying? All’s fair in love and war?

(Images: BarackObama.com)

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