Monday, July 17, 2006

Bayh-passing an opportunity

And for those of you who don't know, yes, that is how you pronounce it.

I know Evan Bayh was here in Des Moines today, but I didn't go for two reasons:

1) I'm unusually busy at the office today, probably partly because I took the morning off to go to the gym.

2) I'm getting a little frustrated by his campaign's sometimes amateur effort to get bloggers involved.

Case 1: As I mentioned here, I was tenatively scheduled to go see Bayh in Davenport before I got sick a week and a half ago. Like many bloggers, I had gotten an email from Ryan Alexander with Bayh's All America PAC asking us to come out and cover Bayh's events. The email that I received had this line:

"In particular we are looking for people to go to the Bruce Braley event in Davenport on Friday."

I'm all for going the extra mile to make a good impression, so I scheduled it. I've exchanged IM's with Ryan several times since, who was supposed to pass me along to Bayh's Communications Director to make arrangements for me to ask Bayh a few questions. This was Monday.

Tuesday passed, Wednesday passed, and finally on Thursday I asked Ryan why I hadn't heard back from anyone yet. I was told to just show up at the event, "you shouldn't have any problem getting in," and "you might be able to ask the Senator a question."

344 miles is a long drive to MAYBE get to see a presidential candidate. So when I was starting to feel sick on Friday, I maybe could've pressed through, but seeing as I was only driving across the state to potentially interview a candidate, I decided to cancel and get some rest.

Case 2: Fast forward to last week. On Thursday, I got the same email the other bloggers got, saying: "Senator Evan Bayh's All America PAC would love for you to attend a major speech on the future of America's economy...This event is open to the public, but if you would like press passes for the event ... please email me back as soon as possible so we can make it happen."

I sent an immediate reply. Again, I was told "you'll hear back from our communications director by the end of the weekend."

And again I waited. Finally, at 8:23 this morning I received an email from Ryan saying I didn't need a press pass. That's fine, but being run around like this just looks amateur and disorganized. I'm not entirely interested in wasting any more time chasing my tail. So I skipped the speech today. Chris Woods went and posted this.

Instead, I stayed in the office and worked on my post on Feingold. I've got an event at 5 tonight and I'm supposed to go see Superman at the IMAX at 9. I'm hoping to finish my post on Feingold in between the two.



Chris Woods said...

Kyle, I had similar hassles but fortunately enough when I got their today Chris Hayler, Bayh's pointman in Iowa, was nice enough to work with and I was able to chat with Sen. Bayh real quick before he had to hop back to the airport before they shut it down for VP Cheney. I think once they get communications issues worked out between the staff, things like this shouldn't be problems.

Nicolai Brown said...

Whoever is complicit in the Iraq disaster has nothing to say about "the economy."

Chris Woods said...

And let me just say that their staff has worked dilligently to approach the bloggers and folks of Iowa to let us know when an event was coming our way. There have been campaigns/groups in the past that have offered reach out to blogs or internet folks in various means and really then blew it with the treatment of those they invited, etc. The Bayh folks have not been those types of folks in my experiences.

bacon said...

Bottom line is that political campaigns still don't know quite what to do with bloggers. But I also think they'd be a little more receptive to a site like Political Forecast, with its constant fawning coverage of all things Democrat and with its star-in-its-eyes sensibility than they would be with a site like this, which calls it like it sees it. Blogs have always been less transparant than newspapers, etc., and you are continuing that tradition. I have no problem with that.