Last week I was contacted by a local Los Angeles Obama volunteer, inviting me to donate to Obama’s campaign and attend his upcoming fundraiser extravaganza here in Los Angeles at the Gibson Amphitheater. I explained to the volunteer that I am uncommitted to a candidate at this time, but would love to attend as a blogger to witness first hand the Obama hype and write a fair and balanced piece about the event.
The volunteer gave me the number for Obama’s L.A. headquarters, so I could call about press credentials. The L.A. headquarters was very nice and helpful and after some time on hold, I was told that I could fill out a form online requesting credentials.
I filled out the form… I called the press office the following day to follow-up. I explained that I was involved with the Kerry ’04 campaign blog and still uncommitted, but would love to cover the event for my readers here at The Democratic Daily. I got a rather cold and snippy response that they would let me know if they accepted my request and needless to say that was the last I heard from them.
And so, the latest Obamamania event was here in L.A. tonight. Needless to say, I wasn’t there, neither was SteveAudio, who also requested press credentials at my suggestion. I’m not sure if other bloggers have run into this with the Obama campaign, but it’s a bit disconcerting from where I sit. And, Chris Bowers notes what he calls a “massive schism in the way his campaign approaches new media.”
Campaigns should be reaching out to bloggers whenever they have local campaign events and they shouldn’t be ignoring requests from bloggers to cover the events. When I called Obama headquarters last week, I had hoped a little name dropping would expedite my request, as John Kerry’s former body man Marvin Nicholson is now Obama’s National Trip Director. I explained to the woman I spoke with in Obama’s press office that Marvin knew me via the Kerry camp, but she could have cared less.
So, now, I guess we can add me to the not so impressed by the Obama hype and hyperbole list. I would have loved to write a great piece about the Obama event in Los Angeles for readers here… instead I’m reporting why I didn’t. I’m still undecided and uncommitted to any candidate in this race. Who knows, if I had seen Obama speak tonight… that might have changed. Of course, I’m no Oprah, but I’d like to think readers here are influenced some by what I have to say.