Posted on | July 12, 2012 | 25 Comments
After nearly two months of being up to my eyeballs in the Brett Kimberlin story, and becoming concerned about symptoms of journalistic burnout, yesterday I decided it’s about time to hit the road and do some campaign trail reporting. So I called up one of my contacts with the Mitt Romney presidential campaign and talked for a few minutes.
I pointed out a basic problem: I’m apparently not even on the campaign’s e-mail list for press releases — no schedule updates, no statements, nothing — which means I’ve got no way to plan my coverage.
“We’ll take care of it,” my source said.
This evening, I saw an e-mail with the subject line, “Mitt’s VP,” and thought: “Hey, all right! They finally added my e-mail to the press list!” Then I opened the e-mail and discovered to my horror that it was, in fact, a solicitation for contributions:
Meet Mitt’s Choice For VP
Robert Stacy Mccain,
We’re getting ready to share some exciting news. Sometime between now and the Republican convention, Mitt will be announcing his choice for VP.
Know what’s even more exciting? Every week until the VP announcement is made, one lucky supporter will win the chance to meet Mitt and his choice for VP.
This is your chance to meet America’s comeback team. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — don’t pass this one up.
So donate $3 today to be automatically entered for the chance to meet Mitt and his choice for VP in person.
Romney for President
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Matt Rhoades, who apparently can’t figure out how to send me a press release, nevertheless proves himself capable of finding my e-mail address in order to hit me up for cash?
Y’know, some of my blogger friends have complained that the Romney campaign has been jerking them around in the credentialing process for covering the Republican National Convention. Given that I’ll be attending the convention on regular media credentials as a correspondent for The American Spectator, I didn’t pay much attention to the grumbling.
However, now that this e-mail bungle has acquainted me with the gross ineptitude of Matt Rhoades — or whichever one of his overpaid dimwit assistants put me on the fundraising e-mail list instead of the press e-mail list — I’ve decided to take the grumbling of my blogger friends a lot more seriously. As a matter of fact, I’ve decided to hold Matt Rhoades personally responsible for every blogger who’s getting hassled about their convention credentials request — and for everything else that I don’t like about the Romney campaign, which is a list that isn’t likely to be exhausted before Nov. 7, unless and until we see a significant change in their disrepectful attitude toward the conservative blogosphere, or Matt Rhoades becomes Mitt’s former campaign manager.
UPDATE: Perhaps it behooves me to explain that my concern is that we could be witnessing a repeat of The Steve Schmidt/Nicolle Wallace Syndrome which so disastrously afflicted the McCain/Palin 2008 campaign. Some GOP operatives have a “media strategy” concept that involves sucking up to major media celebrities (e.g., making sure Katie Couric gets the first Sarah Palin interview) while treating everybody else — including conservative bloggers — like inconsequential peons.
During the 2008 campaign, I was treated with more consideration by Hillary Clinton’s campaign than I got from John McCain’s campaign, which seemed intent on achieving the maximum possible alienation from the rank-and-file press corps. It was a textbook lesson in What Not to Do in Political Public Relations, and if the Romney campaign operates that way, it will likely achieve the same disastrous result.