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August 28, 2008 4:38 PM

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Feeling Unloved

Talaya Centeno The Democratic convention has reached the point where journalists here are no longer sure whether it is America or the press that is tired of Obama.They know, deep down (well, not really deep down, because who in the...


Talaya Centeno
The Democratic convention has reached the point where journalists here are no longer sure whether it is America or the press that is tired of Obama.

They know, deep down (well, not really deep down, because who in the press is really deep down?), that things have been on an upswing  for the Democrats starting with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday and continuing into Wednesday as John Kerry and Joe Biden attacked John McCain in their speeches. They also could not help being excited and surprised at the end of Wednesday night when Obama took to the stage.

But journalists are feeling ignored, and that is part of why the story line over the last few days has been so negative. They did not like that Biden said he was "not the guy" last week when he was, and they did not like that the announcement confirming this was an untruth came late last weekend over text message -- and not just to Obama supporters instead of them but in the middle of the night!

As Rebecca Traister of Salon put it, "If the press feels unloved because they stayed up until 3 a.m. on Friday and it put them in a bad mood when they were coming to Denver the next day, that's not nothing."

Said another political reporter, who wished to remain anonymous: "I think the narrative of the press loving Obama is true, but there's never been reciprocation, and everyone realizes that now."

On Wednesday, Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe did a post-lunch coffee-and-questions session with Time magazine and all but said he was unconcerned with the news cycle, because grassroots support is more important to him and the campaign.
Gee, thanks!

He brushed off every question about why the polls hadn't shown a spike for Obama during the convention, saying, "We don't pay any attention to national polls," claiming that the race is state-by-state and that there is an "intensity gap" between McCain's supporters and Obama's.   
To which McCain's adviser Mike Murphy, sitting in the back of the room, said, "Congratulations on a well run primary, but when campaigns start talking about turnout dynamics, it's generally to make up for other shortcomings."

One had to consider the source, but the point was still well taken.

As Traister said, "[Plouffe] seemed to be like a candidate who did that thing politicians do, which is answer the question he wanted to answer as opposed to the one that was asked." She wasn't surprised by this since he is, after all, an Obama spokesman. But the experience was still disappointing.

"The minute they said it was off the record, my heart sank," said Jim Kelly, Time's former managing editor, after it ended.
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