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Notre Dame ReSource: Obama campaign getting a good deal on text messaging plan

Author: Arts and Letters


Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s plan to announce his choice of running mate via e-mail and text message has benefits to his campaign that go beyond reaching the masses, according to Robert Schmuhl, Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Professor of American Studies and Journalism and director the John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics & Democracy at the University of Notre Dame.

“By offering to e-mail and text message the name of his vice presidential running mate, Obama is trying to enlarge his community of supporters at a time when interest in the announcement is greatest,” Schmuhl says. "But there’s another reason or motive behind this sharing of news.

“The new media technologies help create instant two-way communications between the candidate and the citizenry. He’s able to deliver his messages, but also ask for donations and voluntary work service,” Schmuhl explains. “All of this is to his advantage.”

Obama’s “Be the First to Know” initiative is not surprising given the nation’s evolving political climate this election season, according to Schmuhl.

“Since this campaign began, Obama’s organization has been redefining the relationship between American politics and the people,” he says. “We saw this repeatedly in his fundraising last spring. This is just another example.”

Professor Schmuhl can be reached for comment at 574-631-5128 or .

Originally published by Julie Hail Flory at on August 11, 2008.