As the time draws near for Mitt Romney to announce his running mate [Note: Read this important essay from Dan McLaughlin on that pick], the Obama campaign is sending out emails requesting any and all dirt on prospective VP picks, which can be submitted via subject-specific contact pages on its website. Those receiving the send-us-your-dirt treatment include Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and Representative Paul Ryan. The webforms ask for contact information and "your story," and the text reads (depending on whose page you visit):
Very soon, Mitt Romney could announce [Jindal/Christie/Rubio/Portman/Pawlenty/Ryan] as his choice for VP.
It's on [Louisianans/New Jerseyans/Floridians/Ohioans/Minnesotans/Wisconsinites] like us to make sure Americans get the facts.
Share what you think people need to know about [Jindal/Christie/Rubio/Portman/Pawlenty/Ryan].
Based on the mud the Obama campaign and its surrogates are currently wallowing in, it's pretty clear what they're looking for with regard to these potential vice presidential picks: made-up claims of wrongdoing like those Harry Reid has been peddling about Romney, personal stories that will allow the campaign to concoct a narrative that accuses the candidate of murder, and more muck along those lines. It's only August, and the presumptive Republican nominee has already been called a felon and a murderer; just imagine what will be forthcoming once the complete Republican ticket is known.
This exercise is also interesting because it shows who the Obama campaign doesn't think is a potential pick. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Senator John Thune do not merit dirt-gathering pages. Additionally, General David Petraeus, whose name was reportedly floated as a possible Romney pick by Obama himself, lacks a page on OFA's website.
Here's an example of the emails they're sending to drive folks to the give-us-your-dirt pages. This one, addressed to Obama for America's Louisiana email list, asks people to send info on just how scary Governor Bobby Jindal would be as vice president.
For years, folks have been saying Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal might have his eye on higher office -- and any day now, he might be one step closer to it.
Jindal's name is being floated as a potential pick for Mitt Romney's running mate, and Romney's expected to make his decision very soon.
Louisianans know what it's like to be represented by Jindal as both a congressman and a governor -- and it hasn't been pretty.
That's why it's our job to let Americans know exactly what they'd be in for with a Romney-Jindal ticket.
As a congressman, Jindal was an original co-sponsor of the bill to privatize Social Security, and supported privatizing Medicare.
As governor, he's had the same issues with secrecy and lack of transparency as Mitt Romney -- raising questions about what he's hiding.
If Romney does choose Jindal, your feedback will be critical to holding him accountable once -- and if -- he takes the national stage.
Right now, share with the rest of the country exactly what Governor Jindal has done with our state:
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and stay tuned for when Romney announces his pick.
Louisiana State Director
Obama for America