It was all a gimmick. That's the consensus over Mitt Romney's vice presidential announcement app that was failed to deliver late Friday night after media outlets and Twitter broke the story: Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan was Romney's pick.
In fact, it wasn't until early Saturday morning, almost eight hours after most politicos knew the choice, that the campaign activated the much-hyped VP app. Shortly after 7am on Saturday the app stated “Mitt's choice for VP is Paul Ryan. Spread the word about America's Comeback Team #RomneyRyan2012.”
Many have said it was inevitable the app would get beaten – even a tight lipped and well behaved campaign like Romney's has some leaks. But the Romney campaign easily could have avoided making false promises. They just had to look at the recent history of VP announcements.
In 2008, news of Barack Obama's pick broke hours before the campaign sent out a mass text. That angered a lot of people. Dedicated followers who signed up for the text weren’t the first to know, as they’d hoped. They also got woken up in the middle of the night.
“This was not handled well at all," said one person about the Romney campaign flub, according to the Wall Street Journal. "A big goof up making us think that we were special; obviously we ain't as special as the media.”
Of course, even if the app didn't perform as everyone had hoped, it still has been a huge help to the Romney campaign, giving it access to the emails of thousands of people. In fact, since the announcement, the campaign has sent out three different emails to people who downloaded the app.
Photo by Justin Franz