TheBlaze has obtained an exclusive copy of an email sent to radio stations in key battleground states detailing how a radio station in New Mexico was able to score a now-infamous fluff interview with President Obama last week.
That email, which was sent on Friday afternoon, came from a promotions consultant within the radio community that works with Albuquerque’s KOB-FM — the station that hosted the interview Friday morning — and was billed as a type of how-to guide for others to follow. TheBlaze has chosen to redact the specific names and stations involved in order to protect the source.
Among the interesting tidbits: According to the message, the station did not request the interview, but was rather contacted by the president’s state campaign team.
“The request comes, at least in New Mexico, from the state campaign office,” the email says. “In KOB-FM’s case it was between them and ‘another station’. The campaign did some kind of street-level poll and KOB came back as the one they felt was most appropriate.”
Additionally, the message says that states were chosen based on their status as “’battleground’ states and/or states that are leaning Dem.” If the Obama campaign considers New Mexico either a “battleground” or a state only “leaning Dem,” that could spell trouble: New Mexico went for Barack Obama in 2008 by nearly 15 percentage points. The fact that it could be in play in 2012 is intriguing.
Of note is that the email is clear that the campaign did not give the radio station questions, but did suggest topics as well as say that politics was off limits.
“They won’t give you specific questions to ask and all they want in return were some examples of the kinds of questions,” it says. “They specifically did NOT want anything political and the goal I think is to present him as just a normal dude. They used ‘basketball and music’ as a couple of thought-starters.”
“This is very, very unusual,” the person — a radio veteran with decades of experience — who sent us the email said. “In fact, it’s almost unheard of. I’ve been doing this nearly 30 years and I’ve never seen a campaign reach out to a radio station like this, especially the campaign of a sitting president. It could be unprecedented.”
TheBlaze reached out to two Obama for America offices in Albuquerque for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.
You can read the entire email below:
Date: August 19, 2012 3:04:49 PM EDT
The President has been doing morning show interviews in “battleground” states and/or states that are leaning Dem. And you are both on that map. The request comes, at least in New Mexico, from the state campaign office. In KOB-FM’s case it was between them and “another station”. The campaign did some kind of street-level poll and KOB came back as the one they felt was most appropriate.
They won’t give you specific questions to ask and all they want in return were some examples of the kinds of questions. They specifically did NOT want anything political and the goal I think is to present him as just a normal dude. They used “basketball and music” as a couple of thought-starters.
So, first, reach out to the state office and use the fact that [redacted] and KOB-FM in Albuquerque have done some great interviews and you’d love to have him on.
Then, work up some questions. The NM station’s were perfect because they were hyper local and showed that he knew New Mexico. Which was the whole point of him doing the interview:
1. Red or Green chili? (you can’t get more local than that)
2. Favorite New Mexico food? (he loves him some mole’)
3. They make a TON of movies in Albuquerque. There are usually three being shot at any given time, and since “The Avengers” was the most recent smash filmed there, as the leader of the free world, are there any super powers he wished he had? (that he could speak every language in the world)
4. Favorite music to work out to? (Beyonce)
5. Everyone is sending their kids back to school; what was the best advice he ever got as a kid? (Not to be limited to just one thing, like athletics or theater or scholastics)
If they’d done anything traditional or political, they wouldn’t have gotten the interview, no one would have cared and it wouldn’t literally be linked on 10,000 websites and STILL trending on CNN. Hit them up. Who knows? You might sneak through the radar and snag the Prez.
And in case you haven’t heard it, the interview mentioned is below: