Why did the Obama administration choose the eve of Christmas Eve to reveal that his top aides didn’t have inappropriate conversations with Blago? So it wouldn’t make a sound. The Daily Beast does the forensics on how the incoming White House uses the spin cycle.
On the original Mickey Mouse Club, one of the favorite themes was Anything Can Happen Day. In politics, of course, Friday is known as Anything Can Be Dumped Day. If there’s news that a campaign or a White House wants to insure gets the least amount of coverage, it’s invariably released to the press on Friday after 4 p.m. John Edwards, in the most famous recent example of this time-honored practice, confessed to his affair with Rielle Hunter on a Friday afternoon and then went on Nightline that evening to discuss it—opposite the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics.
Notwithstanding (or perhaps explaining) his status as media darling, Barack Obama has become a masterful practitioner of this. Dumping the report of his transition team’s contact with Rod Blagojevich on the eve Christmas Eve? Talk about a silent night. The subliminal message is clear: Attention must not be paid. By the time the public comes up for air after New Year's the focus will be on the Inauguration--unless Blagogate drags on and there are further revelations.
Herewith, the forensics on some of Obama’s finest weekend news dumps prior to today. The surprise? Even in today's so-called 24/7 news cycle, the game still seems to work.
Donation Nation—Obama took hits during the Democratic primary for his relationship with former fundraiser Tony Rezko, who was indicted on extortion charges. And when the campaign released a list of 43 donations linked to the corrupt businessman, it did so on a Saturday.
Obama Leaves Trinity Church—Everyone will remember Obama's big speech on race for years to come, but his quitting Reverend Wright’s Trinity United Church is likely to be more of a historical footnote. That's at least in part because the announcement was quietly made on a Saturday.
The Biden VP Pick—At the time of Obama's Vice Presidential announcement there were concerns that Hillary Clinton supporters would be angry that their favored pick was passed over, a distraction the campaign did not want headed into the Democratic Convention.
Throwing Aides Under the Bus—When campaign advisors go too far, the time to cut them loose is Friday. That was the case for Samantha Power, a foreign policy advisor who resigned in March after calling Hillary Clinton a "monster" in an interview with a foreign paper. Another foreign policy advisor, Robert Malley, was dropped by the campaign in May after he was attacked for meeting with Palestinian terror group Hamas.
Joe the Donor—Vice-president-elect’s Biden's tax records were released on Friday. The returns revealed the Bidens to be stingy when it came to charity, giving an average of $369 a year for the last decade.
Biden's Son Exits the Lobby—After critics complained that Biden's Hunter, who worked as a lobbyist for a billionaire couple who founded an online gambling company, was not receiving enough scrutiny, he left his lobbying gig and made the announcement on a Friday in September.
Money Problems—Obama's fundraising numbers were historic, but he had a weak month in May when he hauled in a mere $21.9 million to John McCain's $21.8 million. The campaign released the numbers on a Friday in June.
Oprah's Mega-Fundraiser—Republicans often sought to exploit Obama's ties to "Hollywood Liberals" and arguably the most effective ad of the entire campaign portrayed Obama as "the biggest celebrity in the world." It's probably not a coincidence then that a gala fundraising event at Oprah Winfrey's house, featuring everyone from Will Smith to Cindy Crawford, was held on a Saturday. Honestly, who has a party on a Saturday?