McCain Looking To Needle Obama's Big Day With Veep Leak and Ad

So much for the bygone days of politics when convention week was a relatively safe zone for each candidate. It seems to me that in the 70’s and 80’s, convention week was the time for the campaign that was out of the limelight to do planning, get some sleep and get the field offices stocked with a new batch of yard signs.

The McCain campaign, helped by media surrogates, have been painting Obama’s acceptance speech tonight as coronation of a celebrity. A leak is expected this afternoon or in the early evening of who McCain’s veep choice is—Joe Lieberman, Governor Tim Pawlenty from Minnesota. Tom Ridge or Mitt Romney. The idea will be to send reporters scurrying just when Obama wants their attention on his big speech.

The result will be that news coverage will undoubtedly have to cut into chatter about Obama’s speech and the overall Democratic convention with chatter about the GOP veep choice. Though…who is to say there will be much to chat about if the choice is either Pawlenty or Romney. Pro-choice Lieberman and Ridge would be a big story, as would anyone outside that group of four. But there isn’t much news in Pawlenty or Romney.

Perhaps to balance the intrusion, McCain is running an ad tonight congratulating Obama on his nomination “and a job well done.”

What is almost certain is that McCain’s veep choice will leak out tonight, before the Arizona Senator’s press conference announcing his choice tomorrow, so that newspaper front-pages will be divided between Obama’s rock-star photos and McCain’s veep choice.

The Obama campaign is understandably critical. "Tonight would be political malpractice," Obama communications chief Dan Pfeiffer told Politico. "It's one more piece of evidence that the McCain campaign is a war room masquerading as a presidential campaign."

It should be interesting to see what sort of counter programming Obama's handlers have in mind for the GOP convention next week.

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