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

CNN forces Obama to release VP pick early


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. SamSunny

    And you are proud of this?

    August 24, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Foreign Observer

    Well, I found out at 3am.... that'll teach me to take my cellphone to bed with me...

    August 24, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. BrooklynDodger

    People are looking for any reason to claim a slight to HRC. That whole line of thinking about the 3 a.m. ad was pure speculative garbage and might well have been a GOP meme.

    August 24, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. James Carville

    Obama camp is just sooooooooooooooooooo sadistic and evil.

    why did they choose 3:00 am exactly???????????

    and why on phone?????????


    only because Hillary for President Campaign ad touted the 3:00am phone call.

    August 24, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Ben

    Breaking News! CNN breaks story tooting CNN's horn. Wolf Blitzer responds by declaring every day Wolf Blitzer day!

    August 24, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Me

    Not a week goes by that you don't remind me why I stopped watching your programs.

    CNN has no more journalist integrity than Fox. Shame shame shame, I know your three-letter name.

    August 24, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. Olivia

    People do like drama! Enough with the 3am stuff.

    Let's put all the drama behind us and move on to elect what is best for the country. I will not vote for McCain because how he treated is first wife and because he has the worst record on voting for women issues.

    America's future is more important than our own little frustration.

    August 24, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. Jill in Chicago

    Waiting until the weekend was a dumb idea to announce Biden. It was not an earth shattering pick. Nor was it exciting as it was hyped to be. Caroline Kennedy picked Biden because he reminded her of LBJ. Just as Barack reminds her of her father. Only 18-34 year olds are falling for this.

    August 24, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. Lita W

    Although I am NOW an Obama supporter, this seems like a cover-up for the disrespect and intentional snub of Hillary. This is one of the reasons why I was skeptical of him and was pro-HIllary. He is very thin-skinned. Once the media catches wind of anything faulty about his campaign, he is so quick to stop and 'explain'...either through a 'speech' or an issued statement. Get tough and don't expect to rest on the guts of Biden. You snubbed Hillary, own up to it, and move on.

    August 24, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    The Obama team in Chicago (Central time zone) sent out the messages before 2am. Not everyone like the news media lives on the east coast.

    CNN should report the truth! Obama headquarters is in Chicago and it was before 2 am. NOT 3am.

    Messages showed up here in Texas before 2am when Obama sent them out before 2am in Chicago!!!

    August 24, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. Chris from Indy

    Frankly, I'm disappointed in BOs choice for VP. It should have been Hillary Clinton, or Evan Bayh. I think Sen. Biden is a very credible politician; however, if BO wins the general election what is the transition plan? If BO is elected to 2 terms Biden will be too old in my opinion to run for President. I think BO is looking in the moment, and not enough in the long term. Everyone talks about his "great judgement" but I'm not so certain.

    I guess if he wins everyone will sing BOs praises. But if he loses, he will forever be 2nd guessed as the candidate who let a very winable election slip through his hands.

    I am a Democrat, but I continue to be disappointed by and unimpressed with BO.

    August 24, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Bill in Seattle

    I had signed up to get the text message from Obama and mine never came. I was online late the night before (Pacific time) and saw that the AP and CNN were reporting Biden.

    My initial reaction was that I was upset the the media didn't just wait for the text announcement. Then when I never got my text, that upset me even more.

    August 24, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Sean

    It wasn't a swipe! Hillary brought it up, and Obama was just playing the cards he was dealt. Why does every little thing Obama does picked apart under a microscope? I mean, really... Even treatment would be nice.

    August 24, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. CNNthemostuntrustednews

    CNN you're a disgrace...stop creating drama

    August 24, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. Scott

    Aren't you guys supposed to report the news after it happens? When you become influencers, you have crossed the line.

    August 24, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. AB

    I hate how this election is about reading too much into things frivolous and things that won't help improve the lives of ordinary Americans. What has happened to the media that they have gotten so low? These kinds of petty distractions are not what is needed. Please report on the substantive stuff and the issues that matter to the American people.

    August 24, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. Dan 4 Obama

    Hahaha Republicans are grasping for anything to try and divide Clinton people from Obama. Its not going to work, they have messed up this country way too much for that nonsense to sink in....Obama/Biden 08!

    August 24, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. lovable liberal

    CNN put significant effort into scooping an announcement that would have happened shortly anyway. Why won't they put that kind of effort into something useful like the sources of money in 527s or the revolving door between Republican campaigns and lobbying firms or any of another hundred stories?

    August 24, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. TenACity -- Solvang, CA

    Early or late, night or day, from CNN, Barack Obama, or via text message or email I am thrilled with his VP decision!! A very wise running mate choice indeed!

    Obama – Biden = Win – Win08!!

    August 24, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. C Dawg

    You better watch your back CNN, it looks like you're on the Obama-mafia black list: it was _your_ fault and not the Obama campaign's fault that the news got out early. Just wait until he's pres and nationalizes the press.

    August 24, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. lol

    another example of how obama disrespects sen. clinton. the media called him on his obvious swipe at her, and now it wasn't intentional to be sent at 3 AM. (yeah right) can't wait till president mccain is sworn in!

    August 24, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. Steve from Dallas

    Baloney.... Obama's staff always intended that Text to go out at 3 AM as a parting shot to Hillary supporters!

    Now the Obama campaign is backing off because the 3 AM text message was seen for what is was...

    Hillary 12

    August 24, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. eric

    you guys just love to pat yourselves on the back, eh? the best team in tv, yada yada yada......don't break your arm doing it...

    and by the way, it has not gone unnoticed that after the naming of Biden, your network has been non stop trying to create controversy over it....

    I thought your purpose was to COVER the news, not make it..after all, are you not the best political ream on earth?

    August 24, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. lescroc

    ROFL... NOW is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their COUNTRY!! HEY that leaves Obama and Biden OUT!. This is a typical BLAME the other GUY. This just to show you, that Obama can not be trusted to keep is word. AMERICA BEWARE!!. If Obama gets elected this is only the begining!!!

    August 24, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. Eric

    Way to go CNN! Good job on keeping things open for all,

    August 24, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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