Over at NRO’s Corner, I noticed a meme going around to the effect that the 3 AM timing of the Obama VP announcement was intended as a slight to Hillary – one of her campaign videos had suggested that he would not be ready for the emergency 3 AM call to the White House.
I think that there are a few more obvious explanations. The pick had already been publicly confirmed by at least 2 AM ET, perhaps because it had leaked. The Obama campaign may just not have wanted to be beaten to the story by all the cable news networks that were blaring the story. It would have been pretty lame if everyone signed up for the text had found out from their television first, so maybe the Obama team just moved up the announcement to chase the leak.
It’s also possible that the Obama team actually wanted to minimize press coverage of the announcement. By waiting till the early AM, the campaign ensured that the announcement would miss the Saturday paper deadlines and have already become five hour old news on cable by the time people had woken up. But why would the campaign want this, especially when they were willing to increase publicity themselves via a text message? Or maybe that was the point: by personally publicizing the VP announcement in a media lull, the campaign had more control over coverage of the announcement. Their tactics increased their ability to break the news in a more favorable forum.
Last, someone may just have thought that it would be cool for all the Obamaniacs (are there still any?) to wake up for the super-important, super-personal message from their living Messiah-on-Earth. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. From where I’m sitting, the choice of Biden seems safe, but not particularly exciting. This announcement has not changed the election. We’ll see if McCain’s does.