Obama Banks Endorsements For Right Moment

How Senator Barack Obama effectively uses his endorsements?

You notice how Senator Barack Obama has a bad week and then he gets a boost and a change of subject by a major endorsement?  Like he loses in New Hampshire or Texas and Ohio and it is immediately followed by an endorsement?  Or The New York Times endorses Hillary Clinton and within 48 hours Obama gets a big name public endorsement for himself?  Did you notice how John Kerry, Caroline Kennedy and then her Uncle Ted were all staggered separately and timed perfectly?

For example, Caroline Kennedy’s op-ed for Obama prompted all kinds of questions, well, what will Senator Ted Kennedy do?  So his endorsement is eagerly anticipated because of hers.  Even though the Obama campaign must have already been tipped off by Caroline that it was in the bank too.  There is no way that she would have made the first public endorsement of her life without running it by the surviving family patriarch, Senator Edward Kennedy.  But the Obama team wisely trotted them out separately and both earned separate headlines. Nicely done.

More recently, Senator Obama  gets hit by negative fallout from his pastor’s anti American rhetoric and lo and behold he gets a major endorsement from Governor Bill Richardson?

Here’s what’s going on.  John Kerry, Caroline Kennedy, Bill Richardson all call in and offer their endorsements and Senator Obama is very gracious and then they get a call from the Obama Campaign asking if they would kindly hold onto their endorsement for the right occasion.  Of course, they agree.  Now, they all don’t call in on the same day.  And the secret will not keep forever, the Campaign has to use it pretty quickly before it spoils but they are smart enough to hold it a few days or sometimes weeks until something bad happens and they can pull it out of the bank and bingo, the subject is changed and the campaign is seen as back on track again.

Of course, you noticed that.  But since no one has mentioned it I thought I would put it out there on the record.  Yeah, Obama Campaign, we see what you are doing.  Very smartly done.

This is an old trick, nothing new here.  But what is new is how patiently and wisely it is being strung out.  This is almost the equivalent of the Clinton fax retorts, managing anything negative in 1992, a unique campaign feature for the cycle. These endorsements are being spent for maximum punch.  If the Richardson announcement had come before the pastor flap it would have been almost missed.  Coming after, it is a positive news story suggesting that the Obama train cannot be stopped, the momentum is too great.  Interesting to watch.

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