Not tea leaves but tee shirts. The identity of Sen. Barack Obama's vice presidential pick is being closely guarded, yet I received an email about campaign tees and buttons that might have given that secret away. What we have is either a leak or a businessperson betting on the odds!
In an email to Obama supporters in the Greensboro, North Carolina, area, a marketing email includes this line: "*Obama-Biden campaign items will be posted on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008."
Here's the full email as I received it (the bold is mine):
"Subject: [GreensboroLGBTforObama] -- URGENT -- NEW OBAMA T-SHIRTS & BUTTONS OUT TODAY
***** HELP THE BARACK OBAMA CAMPAIGN *****
From Obama Blog Group member William Castronuovo:
Go to www.ElectObamaStore.com and get everything Obama today.
We all know the Obama campaign could use the proceeds during this election!
HUNDREDS OF OBAMA-ONLY ITEMS IN STOCK NOW!
Get Barack Obama campaign gear you can't get anywhere else.
New design updates posted each day.
* Obama-Biden campaign items will be posted on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008.
E-MAIL EVERYONE YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS STORE
**** Send your Obama Blog Group name and a slogan and we'll make a T-shirt
available at the store for your blog group.
E-mail to: ElectObamaStore@gmail.com
(Put in subject line: "GROUP STUFF")
-- FYI: I use CafePress to make the items I design for the campaign Obama
This email was sent to 18 members of Greensboro LGBT for Obama"
So, did this person have advance notice in order to prepare campaign materials for the new ticket? If so, the cat is out of the bag!
Or it this another ruse to throw us off the trail and heighten interest? A gimmick to drive traffic to this person's web site? With everyone speculating, any rumor or gossip becomes a prized nugget.
Here in Greensboro, a surprise sighting of Obama on Wednesday, August 20, reminded me the excitement kids feel when Santa visits on Christmas Eve. The previous evening, I casually drove by a local hotel and noticed the presence of several police cars. What I didn't realize was that Obama was on his way to stay overnight in that hotel, and the local law enforcement was carrying out preparations.
Under cover of darkness, Obama sneaked into Greensboro. The next morning, he enjoyed a quick game of basketball at a local high school and then made an impromptu stop at the downtown farmer's market, much to the surprise of early birds gathering their week's worth of fresh veggies and local baked goods. Some local media had been tipped off by the campaign, but of course, us lowly local bloggers were left out.
Obama signed a few autographs and took a few photos--and then with a wink and a touch to his nose, he vanished, just like Old Saint Nick.