Monday, May 17, 2010

Sarah Palin and Susana Martinez snubbing the press.

Former Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was in Albuquerque yesterday to endorse Republican Gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez. At the conclusion of the event neither took questions from the press. Paling did answer one question about the AZ anti-immigrant bill SB1070. A short YouTube video, that has since been removed, showed Martinez being hustled past reporters to an elevator without answering any questions. As the elevator is about to close one could hear a reporter exclaim in frustration "Crap!"

Sunday morning the Albuquerque Journal released a poll showing Martinez virtually tied with Allen Weh for the Republican primary. During her speech Palin did mention the poll; why did Martinez not want to talk to the press?
Every marketing executive wants to control the message, so it is understandable that Martinez's campaign staff wants to do the same.
Maybe it was just a reaction to last Thursday's gaffe by Martinez, while on 770 KKOB talk radio, where she called for the creation of an online checkbook so that citizens can see how their government spends taxpayer money.
A laudable proposal except that Lt. Governor Diane Denish, during the 2010 Regular Legislative Session, working with legislators on both sides of the isle fought for passage of SB 195 the "Sunshine Portal Transparency Act". Denish signed it into law on March 5.
This gaffe generated a limited amount of coverage for Martinez, but any coverage in the media helps with name recognition. Controlling your message is important, as is getting it out to the public. Any quote from yesterday's event would have been news, resulting in earned media.

Palin's appearance and endorsement of Martinez will play well with the Tea Party crowd which appears to constitute the Republican base these days. It could also have the effect of energizing the Democrats.
Time will tell. Refusing to talk to the press, however, is not a proven way of getting out your message.

No comments: