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Election Connection

Heavy Vetting


Sen. Barack Obama's choice of Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., to be his running mate was barely a surprise by late Friday night, after weeks of lead up and analysis on the top contenders for the role. But while the mainstream media broke the story before the ballyhooed text message arrived from the campaign, the idea of using mobile messaging to spread campaign news sparked a unique response from bloggers and journalists alike.

Four years ago, it was news aggregation site Drudge Report that was looked to first for breaking political news, gossip, and scandals. This time, it was mobile service Twitter and bloggers following the campaign plane flight patterns that were the first to alert the news media to information about the potential VP. One service even created a graph that tracked the buzz of potential VPs by how many times they were mentioned in "tweets."

Knowing the short list ahead of time also allowed for finding archive information about the candidates and having it at the ready when the news broke.

Voter participation organization Why Tuesday? interviewed Biden about his views on weekend voting back in October last year, and was able to highlight the interview almost immediately after the announcement.

For more background on Biden, check out these interviews:

 
With Charlie Rose, in October 2007:





And in an audio interview with Tavis Smiley last August, Biden talks about his memoir, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics.

Election Connection is off to the DNC, where we're sure to learn far more about Sens. Obama and Biden. Follow me on Twitter and see the latest news and photos on our conventions page.








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PBS Engage, public broadcasting's social media initiative, and PBS Vote 2008 are finding the best elections content from across public media and our partners and bringing it to you. We're following the campaigns and highlighting in-depth coverage. Feel free to leave a comment, send us an e-mail, or suggest a topic!
 
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