Archive for October 2008
It appears as though Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is returning to Missouri.
Sources at the State Capitol tell the Missourinet that plans are in the works for a Sarah Palin rally, on the south lawn of the Capitol, in Jefferson City, on Monday.
The Alaska Governor was in Springfield last Friday … and in Cape Girardeau Thursday. She has consistently drawn huge crowds to her political events.
– Steve Walsh
Update at 5:30 pm
The McCain-Palin campaign has released details of the Alaska Governor's visit. Doors will open at 8 am for a program that begins at 11 o'clock.
Tickets are free and are available, starting Saturday, at Victory Office locations in Jefferson City and Columbia … as well as at Republican Party Headquarters in Moberly (Randolph County), Osage Beach (Camden County), Mexico (Audrain County), Fulton (Callaway County), and in Monroe City.
folks in the Missourinet newsroom watched a political rally Thursday … on a newspaper. Well … on a newspaper website.
Thursday goes into the books as one of those days in the Missourinet newsroom in which many of the tasks before us could be planned in advance. Three big political events had been scheduled … starting with a Sarah Palin rally in Cape Girardeau and a Joe Biden event in Arnold … capped off with a Barack Obama gathering at the University of Missouri-Columbia at 9:30. In between the morning events and the Obama rally – around mid-day – Joe Biden would call me to do a quick interview.
We had previously spoken to our Cape Girardeau affiliate – KZIM – about sound from the Palin event … we would have our interview with Biden … and three of us from the Missourinet – Brent Martin, Aurora Meyer, and yours truly – planned on attending the Obama event in Columbia.
Then while planning the particulars of our activities it was pointed out, by News Director Bob Priddy, that the Southeast Missourian was streaming a live feed from the Show-Me Center in Cape Girardeau. The news channels – CNN and Fox – eventually picked up the feed from Cape Girardeau (so did MSNBC) … but it was nice to have the Southeast Missourian giving us its coverage from the very beginning … complete with warm-up speeches from Congressman Kenny Hulshof, Senator Kit Bond, and Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson.
It was great that while waiting for audio material to be sent to us … we could look in on the rally, courtesy of the Southeast Missourian. The Southeast Missourian, by the way, also provided us with photographs – thanks to Aaron Eisenhauer, the pool photographer who took some great shots.
There's nothing unusual about pool feeds at political events … it's par for the course because there is limited room for reporters. What is really great about the newspaper streaming the event live is that it gives Missourians outside the Cape Girardeau area (who can either get to the event, watch it on local TV, or listen to it on local radio) the chance to experience an event while it is happening.
With newspapers facing serious financial troubles these days … this is a wonderful way of attracting readers … even if they are only going to the website to "watch" the newspaper.
– Steve Walsh
As if the last few weeks with Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin visiting our fair state weren't enough … we're doing it all again on Thursday. Well … not quite all of it … as McCain won't get his Missouri passport stamped. But the other three will!
The morning kicks off with a Joe Biden event in Arnold and a Sarah Palin rally at the Show-Me Center in Cape Girardeau. The day ends with an Obama rally attended by an anticipated 30,000 people at the University of Missouri-Columbia. It's a late event … with the guest of honor expected to address the crowd sometime after 9:30. My guess is quite a few of the students will be well lubed by the time the program gets underway.
Anyway … in an effort to add sugar and spice and everything nice … sort of … to this huge rally, students on 29 campuses throughout the state have been busy making signs for the rally at what are appropriately called sign-making parties. A party to make signs? These students will use any excuse to party! Do you think that's what kids did when I was in school? Actually … that's exactly what we did … but that was back in the days when it was legal for people over the age of 18 to enjoy adult beverages.
One last thing … the best part of hearing that this might be the last Missouri visit of the campaign for the candidates … is the realization that this campaign that has dragged on for more than two years is coming to a close … and reporters get a chance to sit back, kick off our shoes, and knock back a cold one or two or three … then gear up for the next campaign. Senator Kit Bond's seat is up in 2010 … so, if my guess is right … campaigning will probably start … a few weeks after Inauguration Day.
– Steve Walsh
Update: 7:40 pm
The Obama campaign won't confirm this … but KY3 TV in Springfield is reporting that Barack Obama will make a campaign stop in the southwest Missouri city on Saturday. Details are not yet available.
You already know (at least I hope you already know) that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will be in Missouri on Thursday for a rally at the University of Missouri in Columbia. What you might not know (or maybe you do) is that a bunch 'o Obama surrogates have been making stops in the Show-Me State in advance of that MU event.
We've had Governors and ex-Governors as well as Senators and ex-Senators making stops here and there to spread the gospel. And, on Wednesday, we will be graced with the presence of Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, who will spend some time in the southern and central parts of the state.
She'll start off with what is being called a Women's Coffee in Springfield at 8:30 … followed by a visit to a phone bank in Camdenton at 11 o'clock. Next stop is Jefferson City for a 1:15 luncheon with volunteers and a press availability on the steps of the Capitol. The Senator from the Natural State wraps up the day at 3:45 at a phone bank in Sedalia.
By the way, in addition to the Obama visit on Thursday … VP candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin will be here, as well. The Delaware Senator takes part in an event in Arnold … while the Alaska Governor hosts a morning event in Cape Girardeau.
– Steve Walsh
Earlier in the day we got the word that Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin would visit Missouri on Thursday for an 8:30 am appearance at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau … now we get the news that both Democrats on the presidential ticket will be here, as well.
Details have not yet been released, but the Obama campaign confirms Presidential candidate Barack Obama and Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden will visit Missouri on Thursday. They will be traveling separately and will take part in events in different locations.
Can there be any doubt Missouri is in play? I think not!
– Steve Walsh
Update: 9:30 pm
The Obama campaign announced, Monday night, that Barack Obama will visit Columbia for a rally on Thursday evening. The event is scheduled for 9:30 pm – with gates opening at 7:30 pm – for what is billed as a "Change We Need Rally With Barack Obama" at the University of Missouri's Mel Carnahan Quad – off Conley Avenue. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are NOT required, but people wishing to attend are encouraged to RSVP through the Obama campaign website.
A press release from the campaign states VP candidate Joe Biden will meet with voters in Arnold on Thursday, but provides no other details at this time.
By now, it's a safe bet that many readers of this blog have seen (or at least read accounts of) an interview conducted by Barbara West of WFTV-TV in Florida. It was a 4-and-a-half minute interview with Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden … during which West asked the Delaware Senator some questions he clearly was not comfortable being asked.
According to the TV reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, the Obama campaign, through its Central Florida Communications Director, informed the station that a previously scheduled interview with Biden's wife, Jill, would be canceled as a result of the West-Biden interview. The official also informed the station that, "Further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election." In essence, you're being cut off!
This prompted a conversation in the Missourinet newsroom about politicians threatening to cut off reporters or media outlets because of what a campaign or elected official might consider unfavorable coverage.
News Director Bob Priddy told of how he once got into a bit of a situation with then-Governor Joe Teasdale, who informed Bob – at a news conference – that no more of Bob's questions would be answered. But that freeze-out was soon over.
My colleague, Brent Martin, tells of the time he talked to a spokesman for one of our Governors about some unhappiness with a certain Missourinet reporter (No … not me) and the situation was ironed out without any threats being issued. Says Brent, "People get angry and they get aggravated, but they get over it."
We've all dealt with politicians – Democrats and Republicans – who don't like certain questions we ask during interviews or at news conferences. I recall being jeered by some Republican backbenchers gathered in the House Lounge at the Capitol not too long after the Republicans had taken control of the House. Speaker Catherine Hanaway was surrounded by these members during a news conference … and I dared to ask a question they didn't consider appropriate. Catherine had no trouble answering the question because she knew I was doing my job … even if my question made some Republicans uncomfortable.
Politicians of all stripes must realize that while some reporters will toss softballs to the person being interviewed … others are interested in getting honest responses to questions that we or our listeners, viewers, and readers think are important. And, threatening to cut off a media outlet because the reporter failed to behave in an obsequious manner, is rather unbecoming of anyone holding public office or running for one.
– Steve Walsh
She's baaaaaaaack! Well … she's coming back.
Missouri Republicans who missed Sarah Palin's appearance in Springfield, last week, get another chance to see the Alaska Governor. The Republican VP nominee will be in Cape Girardeau this week to, in the words of the McCain-Palin campaign: "Discuss John McCain's plans to put an end to this economic crisis, create jobs that support the American dream and keep our nation secure by putting country first."
The event is scheduled for 8:30 Thursday morning at the Show Me Center. Doors open bright and early at 6:30.
Tickets are free and can be picked up – starting at 3 o'clock this afternoon – from Cape Girardeau County Republican Headquarters on North Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau, Butler County Republican Headquarters on Greenwood Drive in Poplar Bluff, Scott County Republican Headquarters on South Main Street in Sikeston, and at St. Francois County Republican Headquarters on North Washington in Farmington.
– Steve Walsh