“Obamaville: Make America Shine Like the Sun” 26 February 2008Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
[M]eanwhile, the rules for covering Obama have grown by at least one in recent weeks.
Around the Super Tuesday primary elections on Feb. 5, the barriers around the press area at Obama events went from easily penetrable, fabric rope lines to interlocking metal gates manned by vigilant gatekeepers.
Bottom line: The media can no longer roam free.
For months prior to that, reporters could mingle among hundreds of supporters after rallies as Obama worked the rope line. It was a chance to see him interact with voters – and one of the few opportunities to squeeze in a question.
But camera crews and reporters often clogged the rope line, which annoyed Obama because he viewed it as his time to meet voters. Foreign TV crews would sometimes do stand-up shots there.
Now, reporters must usually flag down a staff member before entering the rope line area.
“We are fortunate to have a packed house, in addition to thousands of media from all over the world attending our events,” campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki wrote in a statement. “We are always flexible in making sure the media has the access they need, but more importantly that the thousands of people who come out to the events have the best experience possible.”
The remedy suggested to select reporters? Take off your press badge and slip past the gatekeepers.
For his part, Obama attempted to connect with the traveling press corps Friday. But just as soon as he started, he was gone again.
He poked his head out from behind a blue curtain at the visitors center at the University of Texas-Pan American campus. Reporters, hunched over their laptops, looked startled at the sight of the candidate. They hadn’t interacted with him in five days.
“Words matter. Don’t listen to Hillary,” Obama yelled to the four dozen media, beaming a mischievous smile. “That’s a joke.”
One reporter, sensing the rare opportunity to fire off a question, asked Obama about McCain’s criticism of his pledge to talk with Cuban president Raul Castro.
“I didn’t hear John McCain,” Obama said, even though his campaign put out a statement on that very topic 30 minutes earlier.
A second later, the Illinois senator disappeared behind the curtain – off to do an interview with US Weekly, the entertainment news magazine.
And there is a debate tonight… MSNBC 8 PM ET. My guess, all of the several Hillarys show up.
** PS forgot to add, the handlettered sign is hard to read it also could be, Obama Will Make America Shine Like the Sun.
Either way…. the last big rally I saw, one of the ones in Ohio, was pretty much a Holy Roller event, certainly in the first rows. In my opinion, that is really, really old politics.