Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Biden's Missed Train

Lots of speculation has been kicked around about Sen. Joe Biden's (D-DE) scheduled campaign appearance with Sen. Lieberman which was cancelled when Biden missed his train. Kos and others in the blogosphere - none of whom seem to be fans of either Senator - mocked Biden's alibi, saying that trains run from DE to CT every half-hour or so.

But Erin13 writes that the scheduling of the event made it impossible for Biden to catch a later train and make the campaign event:
"I called the CT office of Sen Lieberman, and they said there were other speakers scheduled and they had one opening for Joe, and he missed it. They could not reschedule him for another time in the event."

Ahhhh, facts over speculation. How refreshing.

3 Comments:

Blogger Politicgeek Pro said...

Excuse me, but I don't get this. Wouldn't "the scheduling of the event" for all practical purposes be totally under control of Lieberman and his staff? Am I missing something here?

(Seriously, honest question.)

7/12/2006 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

The scheduling of events is not as easy, or flexible, as you might think. Everything is controlled down to the second, influenced by the rank or political influence of the people from in-state who are participating, and very carefully managed so as not to offend anyone. Joe Biden may be a national star, but for the Lieberman team, making sure everyone in Connecticut is happy has to be first priority. So you line up the speakers -- first comes the local town chair, then the three candidates for state legislature who have given their support, then a mayor or someone gets tapped to read off the roll call of notable public officials who were gracious enough to stop by is ready, and on and on. Almost every political campaign event I have ever been to has too many speakers anyway -- the people who paid (or stood around for hours) aren't even that interested in hearing the candidate speak most times -- they either show up because they want to confirm their support, get a picture snapped, or see a famous out-of-towner (read: Bill Clinton, I'm not sure Joe Biden ranks as 'famous' to most people in CT). And all of that has to get done in the shortest amount of time so the busy people can go back to their busy lives. If Joe Biden was unable to show up on time, the event wasn't going to wait for him and either were its attendees.

Joe Biden might need better staffers to ensure that he gets on his train next time, but nobody should be faulted for the decision not to have him trek up to the Nutmeg State to show up at an event that he had already missed the meat of. If he wants to show his support for Joe Lieberman he'll make a stop on his way up to New Hampshire or record some Get-out-the-vote robo-calls that reach into the gold cost of Fairfield County.

7/13/2006 2:43 AM  
Blogger Rufus said...

The scheduling of events is not as easy, or flexible, as you might think. Everything is controlled down to the second, influenced by the rank or political influence of the people from in-state who are participating, and very carefully managed so as not to offend anyone.

That may sometimes be true, but I'm still calling BS here. Here's why:

First, Biden surely wasn't taking the train up from Wilmington to Hartford (or Stamford, or wherever) and back for just one 20-minute appearance; if you're going to spend six hours on the train, you're going to make it worth your while. So it's hard to believe Biden wasn't expected to be campaigning with Lieberman for at least a few hours. If he catches the next train, you have a staffer waiting to pick him up at the station and take him to the next appearance he was supposed to be at.

Second, at least one of the events that day was clearly very loosely structured. So there was unquestionably some schedule flexibility.

Third, candidates rearrange campaign events all the freakin' time in order to accomodate changing circumstances. And holders of/candidates for lesser offices wait around for the big guy - Lieberman, in this case. There's a pecking order, and everyone knows it.

7/13/2006 10:31 AM  

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