August 24th, 2008
06:30 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN forces Obama to release VP pick early

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CNN’s reporting forced the Obama campaign to scrap its original plan.
CNN’s reporting forced the Obama campaign to scrap its original plan.

DENVER (CNN) – Barack Obama planned to name Joe Biden as his running mate by text message at 8 a.m. ET Saturday morning, but was forced to move up the announcement when CNN broke the story after midnight, a senior Obama official said.

At 12:42 a.m. ET, CNN reported that Obama had picked Biden to join him on the ticket. Several other news organizations confirmed the CNN report shortly afterwards.

“Had a certain network not blown our cover at a certain time the text message would have gone out in the morning, 8 a.m. Eastern,” Robert Gibbs, a senior advisor, said with a grin on Sunday. “We told people they would find out from us. When we decided it was going to get out we decided to send the text out.”

Gibbs said he believes despite the fact that the rollout plan had to be altered, a “vast majority of the people” still learned by text message when they woke up in the morning.

Some Republicans and others suggested that Obama’s 3 a.m. ET email had been intended as a deliberate swipe at Hillary Clinton, who ran a primary season ad that referenced that hour of the morning to make the case she was more qualified to handle a breaking crisis.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. Another Dem now for McCain!

    I can't trust anything from Obama anymore.

    August 24, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. Cynthia

    I still think it was a great idea to let his supporters know before everyone else – it just didn't work out that way. Cool that CNN broke it first because my tv was on that channel when they first announced it.

    August 24, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Just another example of a news network that can't help itself, ruining others' plans (including information affecting national security) for their own gain. Reference the American media's failure to keep a lid on Prince Harry's deployment in comparison to the British media's vows of silence protect their national security. This really is shameful, and I highly respect Maria Shriver's decision to leave the media in disgust.

    August 24, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. AZ Voter

    A shame CNN couldn't display such journalistic acumen when the Administration was falsifying the case for war.

    August 24, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Dood

    They're lying about the 3am thing.

    That was the plan all along.

    BTW, after Obama loses I want to see how well the Obama crowd "moves on".

    August 24, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. eric

    the best political team in the world, the best political team in the world, the best political team in the world...do you realize something? If you were, you wouldn't have to say it all the time...

    and by the way...the best political team in the world? NPR!

    August 24, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. Steve

    Does anyone besides me think the entire process was handled childishly? A VP announcement via text message? Whatever happened to the good old fashioned press conference? From the hoaxes to the leak, the Obama campaign only has themselves to blame. He isn't running to be student council president....he's supposed to be running for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! Act like it!

    August 24, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  8. Dee

    I did not know about Biden's tragic life. After knowing that- I am very happy that Obama chose Biden. They have my vote

    August 24, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  9. John

    Indiana Bob and all other PUMA's:
    My son is in Iraq. A democratic president will bring him and his fellow soldiers home, Your vote matters. Are you comfortable voting for McCain out of spite, knowing that he will continue this war and that we will perhaps lose thousands of more american lives?

    HRC and McCain have drastically different agendas. So now that HRC won't be president you instead chose to vote for someone that will continue this war indefinitely??????

    Grow up Bob.

    August 24, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. Victoria

    Mccain Campaign is using Hillary's supporters for thier gain. Everyones knows that if Hiiiary was on the ticket the Mccain came would destroy her with alot of negative attacks Mccain and his camp is so sicking .The Republicans are so 1st grade.

    August 24, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  11. banderson

    If democrats and independents are so dumb to fall for this garbage that the McCain campaign is feeding them then they deserve everything they get.

    August 24, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  12. Mr. Man

    Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back, CNN.

    August 24, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. Gene

    I can't believe that out of this entire article, the one thing that people see is the 3:00 am part.

    Let me remind you.. it was Hillary that decided to put that 3:00 am ad out... using a child actor who didn't give permission to be used for her campaign... and ironically that child actor is now grown up and a campaign volunteer for Obama :)

    Why are people swiping at Obama when it was an ad from Hillary specifically designed to put Obama down?

    August 24, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. Kirk

    Seriously, are you guys that full of yourselves? You're turning into FOX News. LOOK AT US, WE KILLED THIS GUYS IDEA OF AN EQUAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

    Also, RJ from CA, get over yourself. Your state has no chance of supporting McCain anyway. Clinton supporters need to get off their racist, jealous high horses and accept that your candidate lost and that we're getting change instead of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton. Oh darn. I thought that's what this country was about.

    August 24, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  15. Cali_Dude

    CNN was in the right to call it. It was the Obama Camp's failure to release the text message on Friday that caused the media frenzy to highly speculate into early Saturday AM. So, the blame goes to Obama on this one.

    And....."YAWN"....."Boring".......on the pick of Biden.

    I am a Democrat and very very very Disappointed that Obama chose Biden.

    Remember-Biden ran for Prez Nominee....didn't get very many to vote for him...very few delegates and he dropped out in Jan 08.

    Kinda reminds me of the Bush – Cheney ticket. Cheney is older than Bush.

    Biden is older than Obama.....hmmmmmm.

    I can tell you this.....I am a Democrat and since this "stupid" choice for VP........I am voting McCain. No kidding on this.

    A "true" Change.....would have had Obama choosing a "Woman" as VP.

    August 24, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. JakeT

    All you heard from Obama supporters was how well they can keep a secret...as if that makes him qualified for president. Even that he lacks it appears.

    http://www.hellnobama.com

    August 24, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  17. arjun jayaraj

    Now that Obama did not pick Hillary to be his running mate Hillary supporters need to keep an open mind about Both candidates and stop dividing the party

    August 24, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. david in seattle

    Nice job....how about you now report the next president so that we can get past this crap....oh I forgot, you have to sell this crap for the next three months so that you can make the most of it....whatever happened to ethics in reporting....I am just disgusted with the TV reporters....all of you, you twist the truth by only showing clips of speeches that are shown totally out of context, you speculate where there is no basis for the least amount of accuracy and you misquote grossly. Who has the job to determine the next presidential cabinet anyway? Just report the facts O.K ? Do the nation a service and give us only the information we need to make up our minds and leave your own twist out of it.....THAT would be ethical reporting. GROW UP!

    August 24, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. Kevin. Reality NY

    RJ from CA, Corruption and Clintons go hand in hand in my book. You must be a teenager if you don't remember White Water from which Bill pardoned his wife.

    CNN should be ashamed for breaking the story early.

    3am conspiracy people (whether it's true or not) get over it, seriously, how desperate are you lot? Hillary isn't even a legitimate candidate for the Democratic nomination anymore so why would McCain OR Obama waste their time with it.

    And one last thing for those Hillary supporters who only backed her because she's a women (which is sexist fyi): Feminism != Equality Equality > Feminism

    August 24, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. Don Hiller

    Look folks; this was not a swipe at HRC; for what? IF there was any timing of the texting at 3AM, given the supposed earlier 'leak' or possibility thereof, it was just an attempt to to deliver a weak subliminal message of "See! I CAN make an important(?) decision at 3AM...." Sorry, fellow voters, my mind filters out any such if that was the intent.

    August 24, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. NOBAMA_BIDONE 08

    More lies from NOBAMA/BIDONE Campaign.

    August 24, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  22. DAVIS

    I FEEL THAT THE UNITED STATE WANTED CLINTON AS THEIR PRESIDENT, OF COURSE BEING A WOMAN SHE WOULD NOT GET IT. I AM SO DISAPPOINTED IN HIS SELECTION, I DO NOT THIN I WILL VOTE THIS ELECTION. I HAVE BEEN IN PUBLIC OFFICE IN MISSISSIPPI. YOU GO GIRL, HILLARY

    August 24, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  23. Lynda

    I think sometimes CNN has difficulty grasping that not the entire world is on EST. It was pretty annoying during the men's swimming races to find that CNN announced the winner an hour or more before the race was actually broadcast.

    August 24, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  24. Chris

    Who cares......we're ending this fantasy in November....I'm voting on racial lines like the "brothers" and McCain will be elected.

    August 24, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. Clinton/McCain

    Why didn't they send the text message out around 1am rather than the infamous 3am in reference to Hillary's 3am ad. This was a slap in the face to Hillary.

    August 24, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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